A French court on Monday handed Congolese singer and international music star, Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba a.k.a. Koffi Olomide a two-year suspended prison sentence in absentia for the statutory rape of one of his former dancers when she was 15.
Olomide went on trial after four former dancers claimed he sexually assaulted them several times between 2002 and 2006. The assaults allegedly happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as in France, including at a villa outside Paris where the women said they were held against their will, the dancers said they managed to make a night-time escape from the villa in June 2006.
Reports also stated that Olomide’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny hailed the ruling as a victory that it would result in the withdrawal of the star’s international arrest warrant.
The Kisangani born artist in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was accused of raping a young lady between 2002 and 2006 after it was alleged that he seized her passport.
Facing a French arrest warrant, he fled to DR Congo in 2009 but had initially said he would appear at the trial to defend himself.
Olomide, however, failed to show for the trial last month, which was held behind closed doors at the women’s request. Prosecutors at his trial in Nanterre, outside Paris, had sought a seven-year prison sentence but the court dismissed the assault and kidnapping charges.
It was not the first time Olomide had been charged with violence. The Master Degree holder in Mathematics was first charged in 2012 with aggravated rape but the charges were subsequently reduced.
He was briefly jailed in DR Congo in 2016 for kicking one of his dancers, and had already been given a suspended three-month prison sentence in 2012 for striking his producer.
He is also currently sought by Zambian police for striking a Rwandan photojournalist in Lusaka in 2012. Olomide already had a brush with the law in France, with a court finding him guilty of tax fraud in 2006.
He was also ordered to pay the same amount to the court for illegally bringing three women into France.