Algerian forward Farid El Melali who plays for Ligue 1 club Angers, has been arrested for allegedly masturbating in public while peering into a female neighbour’s flat.
El Meli was reported to have been pleasuring himself in the courtyard of his building when police were called on Monday evening.
The 22-year-old who scored five goals in 11 games last season, had only just signed a contract extension with Angers until 2023 earlier that day.
The footballer’s lawyer Sandra Chirac-Kollarik said: “He wasn’t targeting anyone, and wasn’t aggressive towards anyone.”
Le Parisien report that it was also claimed El Melali thought his neighbours could not see him.
He admitted an “inappropriate attitude” when questioned by police.
He has been charged with indecent exposure.
El Melali is said to have claimed that he thought he was alone in the courtyard of the building in question.
He was released but will be “tried soon in the context of a pre-conviction appearance, the equivalent of a guilty plea,” add Le Parisien.
He now faces a maximum of 12 months behind bars and £13,000 fine.
The prosecutor alleges there is an allegation against El Melali for a similar offence in April, although the witness was reportedly unable to identify him.
A spokesman for Angers prosecutors said: “Farid El Melali, who lives with someone, owned up to committing the deeds while he was in custody. He then returned to his home.”
Angers have acknowledged the situation but said they will “wait for the decision” before commenting further.
Born in Blida, Algeria, El Melali made his debut for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in 2018.
He has made just three appearances for the North African country without a goal.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.