Tuesday 16 January 2018

'It's all a lie' - David de Gea denies allegations he is implicated in sex scandal

David de Gea in training for Spain
David de Gea in training for Spain

Pete Jenson

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea protested his innocence and said he had never considered leaving the Spain squad, when asked on Friday about being implicated in a sex-abuse case dating back to 2012.

Scandal threatened to shake the reigning European Champions’ base camp at La Rochelle in France when various media in Spain reported on Friday that a protected witness in the case against pornographer Ignacio Allende Fernández had claimed De Gea set up a meeting between her, one other girl, and two Spanish Under-21 players four years ago, in which the girls were allegedly sexually abused.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper gave an impromptu press conference ahead of training on Friday night and said: ‘No one is more surprised by this news than me. It is a lie, completely false." Asked about rumours who would be leaving Euro 2016 before Spain's first game he said: "I have never considered leaving the squad."

Watched from the wings by supportive team-mates Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, De Gea faced questions before training with the rest of the squad just three days before Spain’s debut against the Czech Republic on Monday.

“This does not affect me,” he said. “I am very relaxed and I just want to go out and play. Very few things affect me and when it is something that is completely untrue then that is even more the case. The first thing I did was inform my family that this is completely false. They already knew that.’”

De Gea trained normally and is still expected to start Monday’s match against the Czech Republic.

It was the Spanish website Eldiario.es that first claimed on Friday, that Allende Fernández, who has been in prison since April, and is being investigated for human trafficking with the intention of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, child pornography, prostitution, extortion and money laundering, was contacted by the 25-year-old United keeper in 2012.

Police reports published by Eldiario.es showed a protected witness, known only as TP3, make a declaration on June 3 in 2015 claiming she was involved in an incident in 2012 in a five-star Madrid hotel with Iker Muniain, who was in the Spain under-21 squad with De Gea at the time.

The alleged victim was driven by Torbe to the hotel with the promise that she would make some money. At the hotel it is claimed she met with another woman and two players from the Spain Under-21 squad. There is no suggestion that De Gea was the second player but it is claimed that De Gea set-up the meeting with Allende Fernández.

The police report cited by Eldiario.es says: ‘After leaving TP3 in the room with the other girl, Torbe told her she had to be with the players, doing whatever they wanted to do, for which she would be paid a lot of money. When TP3 refused, Torbe took her forcefully by the arm and she was made to agree to do everything they wanted including maintaining sexual relations with the other girl.’

The police report continues: “The new girl and TP3 were sexually abused by the boys, and if they refused they were physically assaulted by both of them. Neither TP3 nor the other girl were paid with all the money going to Allende Fernández.”

The statement then says that the protected witness, who names Muniain, sent a phone message to De Gea asking him to identify the other footballer who was also in the room.

According to Eldiario.es De Gea says the other player also played for Athletic Bilbao but the woman later declares that the second player played for another team.

In a second statement the protected witness also claimed De Gea asked if she would be available for an encounter with five Manchester United players. And in a statement from another protected witness, aged 17, it is alleged that Allende Fernández drugged and raped her twice and that she was forced to make an explicit video which Allende Fernández claimed would then be sent to De Gea and other players in order to arrange encounters.

Allende Fernández was arrested in April for possession of child pornography and for sexual abuse of minors. The arrest was made as part of an operation against a network of organized crime whose head was believed to be a Ukrainian citizen.

Munian’s agent Txus Medina said: “We do not know anything at all about this case. Neither the police nor the courts have been in touch to request any kind of information.”

Independent News Service

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