Berlin (AFP) – German 2014 World Cup winner Jerome Boateng is expected to appear in court in Munich on Thursday to answer accusations he assaulted the mother of his twin daughters in 2018.
After 10 successful years at Bayern Munich, the 33-year-old defender joined French Ligue 1 side Lyon last week on a free transfer, but is due to return to Munich to face the allegations in court.
His lawyer has said that Boateng denies claims he injured his ex-girlfriend, named as Sherin S., during a heated argument while the pair were on holiday with their daughters three years ago.
A verdict could be returned the same day.
If found guilty, he could be fined or jailed for up to five years.
The original date for the hearing was postponed last December because a witness was unable to appear due to the Covid-19 virus.
Boateng has celebrity status in Germany with millions of followers on social media platforms.
He and Sherin S. are locked in a separate on-going legal battle over custody of their twins.
– Turbulent year –
It has been a turbulent year so far for the footballer.
His ex-girlfriend, influencer and model Kasia Lenhardt, was found dead having committed suicide in a Berlin flat in February while he was away playing for Bayern at the Club World Cup in Qatar.
He was immediately given permission to fly home after news of her death.
The 25-year-old took her life six days after Boateng finished their relationship, then gave details of the break-up during a frank interview with top German daily Bild.
After making 363 appearances for Bayern, winning nine Bundesliga and two Champions League titles, Boateng’s contract was not extended when it expired in June before he was snapped up last week by Lyon.
He was a key part of the Germany squad which won a fourth World Cup crown in Brazil, but has not played for his country since being axed by former German coach Joachim Loew in March 2019.
However, Boateng still hopes to add to his 73 international appearances under Loew’s successor Hansi Flick, his former coach at Bayern Munich, who masterminded the Bavarian giants claiming a treble of titles in 2019/20.
The son of a German mother and Ghanaian father, he found himself at the centre of a debate over integration when he was attacked for his skin colour by the leader of Germany’s far-right party in 2016.
Germany’s leader Angela Merkel got involved and invited Boateng to an event at the chancellery, where she made a point of telling Boateng’s father, who was also there, “You have a great son, you can be proud”.