Lebanese-French Trumpeter Maalouf Convicted of Sex Assault
Star trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, famed for his award-winning film soundtracks and mixing of eastern and western sounds, was handed a suspended prison sentence for sexual assault on Friday by a French court.
Maalouf, 37, was found guilty of assaulting a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was doing work experience at his music studio in a suburb southeast of Paris in 2013.
The girl, now aged 19, testified in court that he had kissed her and grabbed her without her consent.
Maalouf denied the allegations and portrayed her as an infatuated fan who was bitter after being rejected.
The court in Creteil, a southeastern suburb of Paris, handed him a 20,000-euro ($23,000) fine as well as the suspended prison term.
Born in Lebanon, Maloouf fled with his parents -- both musicians -- during the country's 15-year-civil war and settled in France.
He plays a four-pistoned instrument invented by his trumpeter father in the 1960s, as well as playing the piano, composing and teaching.
He has played with Sting and Elvis Costello among other music stars and last year won French cinema's highest award, a Cesar, for the soundtrack of the film "In the Forests of Siberia".