BBC News: A court in France has sentenced, in absentia, Congolese music star Koffi Olomide to two years in prison after convicting him of having sex with a 15-year-old girl who was one of his dancers.
The popular rhumba singer went on trial after four former dancers claimed he sexually assaulted them several times between 2002 and 2006 and held them against their will.
The 62-year-old, whose real name is Antoine Agbepa Mumba, was also ordered to pay $5,700 (£4,300) in damages to the former dancer, as well as a $5,700 fine for helping three of the women enter France illegally.
He was first charged in 2012 with aggravated rape but the charges were reduced.
Prosecutors had been pushing for a seven-year sentence but the court dismissed the assault and kidnapping charges.
According to Olomide’s lawyer, the court decision entails the lifting of an international arrest warrant issued against his client, who, he says, will now be able to travel to France freely, the BBC’s Nadir Djennad reports.
Olomide fled to DR Congo in 2009 promising to defend himself but failed to show up for the trial last month which was held behind closed doors in a Paris court.
The Congolese musician has found himself in trouble several times:
- In 2018 Zambia ordered his arrest after he allegedly assaulted a photographer
- In 2016 he was arrested and deported after he assaulted one of his dancers in Kenya
- In 2012 he was convicted in DR Congo of assaulting his producer and received a three-month suspended prison sentence
- In 2008 he was accused of kicking a cameraman from DR Congo’s private RTGA television station and breaking his camera at a concert in Kinshasa but a reconciliation was later brokered