Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema was sentenced to 1 year probation in a sex tape case

VERSAILLES, France – France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was sentenced on Wednesday to one year probation and a $ 84,000 fine in a sex tape case that shook French football.

Benzema was found guilty of being involved in an attempt in 2015 to blackmail France’s teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

The court’s decision in Versailles will hardly affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future. The striker is considered one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or award on November 29 in Paris after an impressive season with Madrid. The president of the French federation, Noel Le Great, has already said that Benzema will be allowed to continue playing with France even if he is found guilty.

Benzema’s lawyers said he would appeal.

Benzema, who denied wrongdoing, did not attend the trial in Versailles last month and was absent until the verdict. The four other defendants were also found guilty and did not appear in court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had asked for Benzema to be fined 75,000 euros, the maximum allowed on the charge, and to be sentenced to a suspended 10-month prison sentence if convicted.

Benzema was accused of aiding and abetting the extortion attempt over a sex tape believed to have been stolen from Valbuena’s mobile phone.

Following preliminary charges in November 2015, Benzema was dropped from France’s national team by coach Didier Deschamps. As a result, Benzema missed the European Championships in 2016, and also the World Cup in 2018, which was won by France.

Deschamps recalled Benzema ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament and has since fielded him regularly.

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