Sarfo, the star player of Sweden's most successful football club has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for sexually assaulting a girl in her early teens, national broadcaster SVT reported. He is also to be expelled from the country for a decade, but is free to return back to Sweden afterwards.
The prosecution's main evidence consisted of conversations on social media. Sarfo claimed that the messages were written by other than himself, which was disputed by the court. It was also established that the girl clearly informed him that she was only 14.
Despite that, Sarfo met with the girl and had sex with her in a friend's apartment. The girl wasn't coerced.
"However, a 14-year-old cannot possibly give her consent, and the football player has therefore been convicted of the act," the court wrote.
In another instance, however, he did use force: Sarfo was found to have had sex with the girl in a restroom facility in a park in Malmö.
"The man followed the plaintiff into the restroom and make use of her helpless situation. In this case, it doesn't matter that the girl was almost 15 [the age of consent in Sweden]," the court's president Sara Skouras said.
In addition to the prison term, Sarfo was also sentenced to paying SEK 150,000 ($17,200) in damages to the plaintiff and will be expelled from Sweden for 10 years, after having served his sentence.
Sarfo had a promising start in the Swedish national football championship, Sarfo was transferred to Sweden's most successful club Malmö FF in a SEK 15 million deal ($1.7 million).
In the spring of 2017, Sarfo expressed the desire to become a Swedish citizen and play for the Swedish national team. His attempts to qualify for Sweden's U21 national squad failed, because he couldn't obtain Swedish citizenship in time. Sarfo first refused to represent Ghana's national team, but ultimately made his debut in October 2017 in a World Cup qualifier.
Malmö FF or MFF is the most successful football club in Sweden in terms of trophies won and is the only club from a Nordic country to have reached the European Cup finals. The club has won a record 20 Swedish championship titles and had many stars on its roster, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic.