Expatica news

Ex-PSV man faces year jail for underage sex

15 July 2004

AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor demanded in Den Bosch Court on Thursday that former PSV executive Fons Spooren be sentenced to 18 months jail, six months of which would be suspended, on charges he had sex with underage males in an Eindhoven park.

The prosecution also demanded a three-year probation period instead of the usual two, describing Spooren’s actions as being “completely reprehensible”, especially given that the suspect allegedly had unprotected sex despite knowing he was HIV-positive. “Always use a condom! Always,” the prosecutor exclaimed.

Spooren faces four counts of having paid sex with underage youths, while the prosecution requested his acquittal on a fifth count. He is also charged with attempted serious assault for the alleged unprotected sex, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. The crimes were allegedly committed between 1992 and 2002.

The 40-year-old defendant, from the southern Dutch town Netersel, has admitted he was one of the men having paid sex at the park, but has denied he knew that his sex partners were underage. The park has reportedly been used for gay sex over many years.

Spooren has confessed that he never asked for identification from the boys and claimed he is not attracted to underage boys. Instead, he admitted that he likes young men aged between 20 and 25.

He also denied the intentional injury allegations: “As soon as I knew in March 2001 that I was infected with HIV, I stopped having unsafe anal sex,” Spooren said.

But several months after being informed that he was HIV-positive, Spooren returned to the Eindhoven park to engage in oral sex. He claimed a doctor and his own research indicated to him that the chance of infection via oral sex was “negligible”, news agency Novum reported.

The boys who were listed as victims in the case against Spooren have tested negative for HIV, but the prosecution did not rule out the possibility that he had infected others. “You don’t know what’s on your conscience,” the prosecution said.

But Spooren − who has resigned as the finance director of the Eindhoven PSV football club − also claimed he had been the victim of a witch hunt, with lawyers telling boys at the park that they could lodge a complaint against him.

The prosecution denied conducting a witch hunt in the media, but admitted the case was important, saying it is not “peanuts”. He also said Spooren − who is alleged to have visited the park several times each week − took on the risks himself.

In total, eight boys are said to have reported to police claiming that Spooren knew he was HIV-positive, but did not reveal it at the time of having sex. For his part, the father of two claims the boys who work in the park have drug or alcohol problems and are trying to claim financial damages.

Spooren was arrested in May 2003, but was released in August to await the court proceedings, Dutch public news service NOS reported. A psychiatrist has declared the defendant fit to stand trial.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004 +Novum Nieuws]

Subject: Dutch news