Rapper Moha La Squale sentenced to three years in prison for domestic violence

Rapper Moha La Squale in Paris, July 5, 2018. DAVID WOLFF – PATRICK/ REDFERNS/GETTYIMAGES

Former rap star Moha La Squale, 29, was sentenced Friday, July 5 in Paris to four years in prison, one of which was suspended, for domestic violence, kidnapping and death threats against six former partners. The court ordered the perpetrator to remain in detention. Bendero – Mohamed Bellahmed by his real name – who has already spent almost seventeen months behind bars.

The rapper will also have to undergo psychological counseling and treat his cannabis addiction, the magistrates decided. He was also banned from having contact with the six young women who accused him of physical and physiological violence, and will have to compensate them for their moral damages, to the tune of 2,500 to 10,000 euros each.

On Thursday, the prosecution had requested a six-year prison sentence, two of which were suspended, citing a man in « double visage » who does not “don’t question.” For almost five years (from 2017 to 2021), Mohamed Bellahmed subjected his victims to a very similar pattern of violence, pointed out the representative of the prosecution before the criminal court.

A “balanced” decision

Moha La Squale was released in 2023, but returned behind bars for failing to comply with his judicial supervision. Since the trial opened on Tuesday, the rapper had repeatedly said that his accusers were lying, and said he was the victim of a “conspiracy” from them – while apologizing for having ” hurts “.

He shouldn’t ” first “ not appeal this judgment, his lawyer, Elise Arfi, told journalists, welcoming a decision “balanced” et ” intelligent “because providing for a ” accompaniement “ of the young man. Since the time of the events, Moha La Squale has “changed a lot, lived a lot”et “I don’t think what happened to him at 23 could happen again today.”she said.

Several complainants also expressed their satisfaction, directly or through their lawyer. “I feel like I’ve been heard, I hope to turn the page and get better”said one of them, after bursting into tears during the deliberations. “This is a balanced and fair decision which is welcomed with relief by the victims and which demonstrates that justice is increasingly listening to violence against women.”commented the lawyer of another plaintiff, Antonin Gravelin-Rodriguez.

Read also | Rapper Moha La Squale, arrested in December in Germany, was imprisoned in Paris

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Injunction for psychological care

The young women were first “coaxed”then suffered psychological abuse (insults, humiliating remarks), death threats and finally physical abuse: slaps, hair pulling, strangulation, suffocation with a pillow, the magistrate detailed. During arguments, three of the six victims were also sequestered by the defendant, who locked them in and took their phone to prevent them from calling for help, she insisted.

The six women have “unanimously” describes the « double visage » of their former companion, both “sweet, kind, affectionate” but can also “to twist in a second and become this other person, jealous, angry, capricious, impulsive, violent and paranoid”the prosecutor stressed.

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She also requested an injunction for psychological care for the rapper who, according to her, showed a “total lack of questioning”. An argument “a little too easy” and which raises fears of a possible repetition of the facts, warned the magistrate.

“System of domination”

On Wednesday, the artist became embroiled in sometimes contradictory statements about his romantic relationships. “toxic” : he had denied any physical violence towards the complainants but regretted having ” hurts “. Il “lives in an imaginary world where the spotlight is on him”where his accusers would like “take that light away from him and shine it on them”mocked Fabien Guilbaud, who is defending one of the plaintiffs.

Yet, “They don’t want to harm him, they want to help him! It’s surreal not to hear that.”exclaimed the lawyer. His colleagues from the civil party insisted on the “system of domination” imposed by the rapper on their clients or on the need to pose “a bandage on their wounds”.

One of the complainants, again “terrified of walking in the neighborhood where they lived”hope “recover fragments of her life that he stole from her”another one is waiting “Let him get treatment, let him repair himself before he damages others”.

In defense, Elise Arfi has worked hard to counter the image of ” monster “ next to his client, a man ” isolated “, “completely overwhelmed” by his sudden fame at the age of 23 and whose heavy cannabis consumption may have explained the ” mood swings “.

According to her, the complainants were not under ” the influence “ of their companion. “There was no hierarchical relationship” et “they could have left”she insisted, suggesting that the “celebrity” the rapper had been able to contribute to this “that they remained” with him : “There was perhaps a bit of narcissism on both sides”.

Furthermore, for the lawyer, many of the alleged facts are not based on any tangible evidence. We are sometimes “in the most complete subjectivity”hammered Elise Arfi. Invited to speak at the conclusion of the debates, the young rapper addressed the victims, listing their first names: “I would like to apologize to [d’elles] for the harm I may have done to them”.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers The story of three women who accuse rapper Moha La Squale of violence: “He told me that I was the only one he had done this to, that I was driving him crazy”

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The World with AFP

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