UNDERSTAND IT ALL – Case of former handball world champion Bruno Martini, convicted of corruption of a minor

Former France goalkeeper and two-time world champion Bruno Martini was given a one-year suspended prison sentence on Wednesday for corruption of a minor and filming child pornography. During this period, he resigned from the presidency of the National Handball League.

• Who is Bruno Martini?

Former French international handball player Bruno Martini, who was sentenced this Wednesday to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a 2,500 euro fine for corruption of a minor and recording of child pornography, is one of the most closed players with 202 selections per hour. .. He was the goalkeeper of the Blues when they won the world title in 1995, the first major French title achieved by the “Barjots”, and in 2001 he opened a golden era with another world title. He led a rich playing career. At the big French and European clubs: from OM Vitrolles via Montpellier to Paris, winning the prestigious Champions League in 2003. He retired in 2007 before going freelance in 2009 in Kiel, Germany. He then started his career as a manager, notably as the general manager of Paris Handball and later one of the biggest esports teams, Vitality. In November 2021, he was elected president of the National Handball League (NHL).

• Why was he convicted?

He was arrested and remanded in police custody on Monday before being brought to a Paris court on Tuesday evening, then released on a plea deal (CRPC). This Wednesday, he was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and a €2,500 fine for corruption of a minor and recording child pornography. This sanction was approved by a judge of the Paris court after the CRPC in the afternoon. It also includes a five-year ban from engaging in any activities that come into contact with minors. “Mr. Martini knows the facts, he assumes them, and he is remorseful. Without wanting to minimize the facts that are clearly reprehensible and for which Mr. Martini was convicted, I would simply like to emphasize that Mr. Martini is not a monster. , he is not a pedagogic criminal, he is a not an individual. I want to prove that this is a CRPC subject,” his lawyer Me Elie Dottelonde reacted to RMC Sport.

• How was the survey conducted?

The case began in the summer of 2020 with a complaint from a 13-year-old teenager. It was on the Snapchat social network that Bruno Martini would find the teenager. The young man explained the entire exchange to the investigators of the juvenile protection brigade. According to information provided by RMC Sport, he said that selfies and sexual images were exchanged with the account called “Daddy”. Bruno Martini is behind this nickname. Before the investigators, the former player defended himself: for him, seeing the photos of the young man, he thought that he was over 15 years old. As for the merits of the case, there was no physical encounter between Bruno Martini and the 13-year-old who complained against him. The young man went well to the former goalkeeper, but finally he gave up. Bruno Martini paid for a taxi to take him home. On the other hand, intimate photographs were indeed exchanged, so it was the crime of recording child pornography images held by the prosecution.

• What are the results for French handball?

Shortly after the conviction, Bruno Martini resigned as NHL president. Even before the legal outcome, the League called on the leaders to resign quickly, otherwise they were ready to “return their mandates to lead to the organization of new elections and the termination of the functions of the president.” “FFHandball today learned with astonishment the extremely serious allegations against Bruno Martini, president of the National Handball League, which he knows have no place in sport. (… ) In line with his zero tolerance policy, FFHandball, which has been campaigning on this issue for several years, is aware of the fact that violence affirms its determination to fight against all its forms and intends to recall that it strongly condemns such acts, whenever they are identified and by whomever they are involved,” he said. , announces that an elective general meeting will be held on March 7.

• What are the other reactions?

With France currently playing in the World Cup in Poland, the Frenchman woke up in shock on Wednesday. The Blues also face Germany in the quarter-finals in Gdansk this Wednesday (20:30). Even if the French team did not want to make a statement, the issue of Bruno Martini was evident in all the conversations before the match. During the “Blues” training session, we said, “We have a 1/4 final to prepare for.” Many of them have worked side by side with him during his playing career, as well as France coach Guillaume Gille and Nikola Karabatic as PSG Handball’s general manager. “I welcome the NHL’s swift, clear and responsible response to FFHandball. This resignation was necessary. The government’s commitment to combating violence against children is common in sports and everywhere,” he said. Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra played PSG Handball, where Bruno Martini developed as a player, then the general manager was unaware of the relationship before this Wednesday.

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