Sat, Jan 17, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Friend accused of sexually abusing Eto’o son acquitted

AFP , MADRID

A friend of Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o was acquitted on Thursday by a Spanish court of charges that he sexually abused the Cameroonian international’s six-year-old son while acting as a babysitter.

The Barcelona court ruled there was insufficient evidence that the man, described by prosecutors as a close friend of the player, “made any type of touching or other acts of a sexual nature” when he looked after the child.

“The responses given by the minor to questions posed by expert psychologists do not allow for establishing that the touching and acts of a sexual nature attributed to the accused took place,” it said.

Public prosecutors had asked that the man be slapped with a six-year jail term and a fine of 60,000 euros (US$80,000).

Eto’o testified in court as part of the man’s trial, which was held last month.

The incident was alleged to have taken in 2006 when the man would look after the boy on weekends that Eto’o had custody of his son but was busy with matches or training. The boy’s mother — who does not live with Eto’o — filed a complaint with police after he told her about the abuse in August 2006, when the boy was about four, prosecutors said.

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