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8 May, 2020 08:13

Red handed: France-based footballer issues grovelling apology after arrest for masturbating in public

Red handed: France-based footballer issues grovelling apology after arrest for masturbating in public

Angers star Farid El Melali has issued a remorseful apology after he was arrested by police for allegedly masturbating while staring into the window of a neighbor's apartment - hours after signing a new contract with his club.

The 22-year-old was detained on Monday after he was caught in the act in the courtyard of his apartment building. He has since been charged with indecent exposure and, per reports by ESPN, this is the second such time that El Melali has been in trouble with law enforcement for similar incidents.

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According to a statement by French prosecutors, "El Melali, who lives with someone, owned up to committing the deeds while he was in custody. He then returned to his home."

It is understood that the player could face a term of 12 months in jail and a fine of £13,000 ($16,000) if punished by the full extent of the law.

"He wasn’t targeting anyone, and wasn’t aggressive towards anyone," El Melali's lawyer said of the incident.

Commenting for the first time on his arrest, El Melali issued a series of apologies to his family, friends and club.

"These last few days have been very hard, mentally and physically," El Melali stated on social media. "Coping with criticism and judgement is tough. I understand that those who received the information cannot tolerate such behavior.

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"I want to apologise to my family, my friends and the fans of my dear club Angers, as well as my fellow Algerians. Everything that happened has affected me, but it has also made me stronger and more aware of the values and principles that I must uphold.

"Thank you to everybody who has stuck with me during this rough time."