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League One footballer charged with rape while another EFL player is cleared by jury

League One footballer William Kokolo has been charged with three counts of rape on Tuesday and granted unconditional bail.

The Brewers defender appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and the 22 year old is now set for a hearing at Crown Court on the 27th of September or ‘such other date, time or place as the Crown Court directs’.

The allegations are all said to have occurred in the Birmingham area on February 13, 2022.

Kokolo only joined Burton from Middlesbrough back in January, and has made a few appearances for the club since.

Hasselbaink told Staffordshire Live last week that the wing-back had been dealing with a personal matter but was still part of the squad.

Kokolo then made an appearance as the former Chelsea star’s team lost an away match against Cambridge United on Saturday.

A statement released by his club said: “Burton Albion is fully aware of the charges that have been made against one of our players and the club has spoken to the player and his legal representatives.

“As this is an ongoing legal process, the club is unable to make any further comment until legal proceedings are concluded.”

The case is indictable-only, a process where the most serious matters coming before JPs are sent straight to crown court.

Kokolo, wearing a black hoodie, black trousers and a smart watch, was allowed to remain on conditional bail.

Emma Coles, chair of the bench, told Kokolo: ‘You have heard what’s been said this morning. Because the offences are so serious you are being sent for trial at the Crown Court.’

The French born player, of Congolese descent, began his career with Monaco before joining Sunderland in 2017. He failed to break into the first-team at the Stadium of Light despite a loan spell at Darlington and signed for Middlesbrough in March 2020 on a two-year deal.

Meanwhile, a footballer Callum Harriott has spoken online about the damage done to his career by ‘false’ rape allegations after he was cleared by a jury of raping a drunk female at his flat.

On his Twitter feed, the 28 year old said he had lost three years of his playing career as he fought the claims, dating back to November 2019.

He also questioned the length of time the case had taken to come to court after a jury unanimously found him not guilty following four hours and 16 minutes of deliberations at Ipswich Crown Court at the end of a five-day trial.

He said: “On the 5th of December 2019, I was arrested for a rape I did not commit. The arrest relied upon baseless allegations which were exposed by a belated and full investigation long before the trial commenced. The false charge should never have reached trial.

“Not only were my family and I devastated by the false claim but my life was upended and my career shattered.

“The public had appeared to have already made up their minds due to the reports in the media, only for me to be exonerated by a unanimous jury verdict three years later. But the damage had been done. I was subjected to online abuse and vilification. Three years lost in a successful young footballer playing career is irrecoverable, it is life changing. The damage done to family, friends, friends colleagues, my professional life and income was intolerable.

“Not only the publicity, but also the lackadaisical way the false claim was handled, compounded the damage. It took until April 2021 before CPS decided to charge me and three years for the case to come to trial. The jury took four hours to exonerate me with a unanimous verdict of not guilty. I could not have survived the ordeal had it not been for the unwavering support of my close friends, many colleagues and my family.

“Why the CPS brought this charge is bewildering to me. The police had CCTV footage of my accuser on the night in question. Unbeknown to me, she was consensually engaged in sexual activity with two different men in two different toilets on the same evening she and her friend later come to my flat. The police were aware of this and passed the information to the CPS together with a statement from my accuser’s best friend. The friend made it clear that immediately after having sex with me, my accuser was demanding a “threesome” with the other visitors to my flat. All this information was available long before the trial and yet the CPS persisted with the prosecution.

“My lawyers repeatedly asked the CPS to review the case, but the CPS remained of the opinion that there was an a chance they might obtain a conviction. I was not allowed to challenge this decision which in my view seemed perverse.

“When I first attended the Crown Court in July 2021, I was told that the court could not accommodate a five day trial for over a year. The decision was made despite pleas made on my behalf that such delay would take away yet another of my professional life.

“As the verdict of the jury had demonstrated, this was entirely without justification.

“In the aftermath of my acquittal, I am considering what my recourse is against a false accuser who had caused such devastation to my life.

“Finally, I would again like to thank my solicitor Christiana Hauward-Kourabas and my barrister Sasha Wass QC who had confiedence in me from the outset and worked tirelessly to ensure that the truth in this case prevailed.”

During his trial, the court heard that Harriott, who played for the Us between 2019 and 2021, met the alleged victim in the Turtle Bay bar in Colchester before they later headed to the Attic nightclub with their respective friends.

Later they went to Harriott’s flat and he claimed he had offered the alleged victim, who is in her twenties, some water before she had a sleep in the spare room to help her sober up.

“If I didn’t think she was well enough to come back to have sex with me then why would I let her in my car?” Harriott told police.

“She was sleeping, she’s sobering up and getting better. She’s saying she’s OK. Her friend said ‘oh, she’s fine’.

“I said ‘are we having fun?’ and she’s like ‘yeah’. I’m lying on the bed hugging her and she takes my hand.

“She was perfectly fine and had sobered up. She was talking and wanted to have sex.”

Rape and sexual abuse helplines

For Women (See below for Rape, Sexual Abuse & Personal Safety Abroad) 


Help after rape and sexual assault

Sexual Abuse Referral Centres – Find a SARC

Sexual violence is a crime, no matter who commits it or where it happens.  Don’t be afraid to get help.

SARCs are specialist medical and forensic services for anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted.  They aim to be one-stop service, providing the following under one roof: medical care and forensic examination following assault/rape and, in some locations, sexual health services. Medical Services are free of charge and provided to women, men, young people and children.

Rape Crisis 

Helpline:  0808 802 9999 (12-2.30 & 7-9.30)


Live chat helpline

National Organisation offering support and counselling for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. 

See website for local groups or contact directory enquiries.

Victim Support

Supportline: 08 08 16 89 111

Rape and sexual assault

Our services are confidential, free and available to anyone who’s been raped or sexually assaulted, now or in the past. We can help, regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the attack.  Our volunteers can visit you at home (if you want us to, and if doing so will not put you at further risk) or somewhere else if you prefer. If you don’t want to see anyone face-to-face, you can also talk to us on the ‘phone, either at one of our local offices or at the national Victim Supportline.

Women Against Rape


This is the joint website of  Women Against Rape and Black Women’s Rape Action Project. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. We campaign for justice and protection for all women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence.

The Survivors Trust

Helpline: 0808 801 0818


Find support

Rape and sexual abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, culture or social status.  Living with the consequences of rape and sexual abuse can be devastating. We believe that all survivors are entitled to receive the best possible response to their needs whether or not they choose to report.

Women’s Aid Federation


Chat to us Women’s Aid is the national domestic violence charity that helps up to 250,000 women and children every year.  We work to end violence against women and children, and support over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the country.

For Men

Survivors UK – Male Rape and Sexual Abuse Support


We understand the effect which male rape and sexual abuse can have upon those who are forced to experience it, and we’re well aware of the traumatic process which it can set in motion. If you are a man who has suffered sexual abuse or rape in the past, you can turn to us for help. We have a range of support options to help you recover from your experience and put the past behind you.

Rape Crisis 

Helpline: 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30 & 7-9.30)


National Organisation offering support and counselling for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. 

Many Rape Crisis Centres provide support services for men and boys who have experienced sexual violence, as a child and/or as an adult. Rape Crisis Centres that do not provide services for men or boys will be able to give you information about relevant support organisations.  See website for local groups or contact directory enquiries.  

Rape, Sexual Abuse & Personal Safety Abroad 

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Rape & Sexual Assault Abroad – Returning to the UK

Support for British Nationals Abroad

Rape and sexual assault can happen to women and men of all ages and backgrounds. While most visits abroad are trouble-free, we are becoming more aware of people being sexually assaulted whilst they are overseas.  Sexual assault is a very traumatic experience whenever and wherever it happens, but the trauma can be made even more difficult to deal with when it happens abroad.  We will be as helpful as we can to anyone who tells us they have had sex against their wishes or been attacked by someone wanting sex.

Rape Crisis Network Europe


RCNE is the network of European rape crisis centres.  We aim to make sure that anyone who experiences sexual violence can get the help they need.  We are active in influencing policy, standards and legislation through European governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

All member centres share a ‘survivor-centred’ and anti-discriminatory approach.

Personal Safety Advice Abroad

When travelling abroad, most people are keen to relax and unwind. Travellers, tourists and foreign businessmen and women can be prime targets for criminals, however. In order to minimise stress on your holiday or trip, take time to plan your personal safety strategy in advance. From keeping your valuables safe to avoiding violence, a little forethought may save you from becoming a victim of crime.

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