|Ribbery : Image Courtesy|
Courtesy of Supersports: Bayern Munich winger Ribery and Real Madrid forward Benzema face up to three years in prison and a maximum €45 000 fine if convicted.
Both deny the charge and the young woman involved, Zahia Dehar, has testified that the players were not aware that she was not 18 when they had sex with her in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Although the age of consent is 15 in France, paying for sex with anyone under 18 is a crime.
Dehar, now 21, became a celebrity of sorts following the scandal, having launched her
luxury lingerie line, and has been seen as the muse of
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
|Benzema: Image Courtesy|
The 30-year-old Ribery did not turn up at the court as there was "no victim," his lawyer said, seeking for the proceedings to be held behind closed doors due to their salacious nature.
Ribery has admitted having sex with Dehar but has maintained he did not know she was then under-age. Benzema meanwhile denies any encounter.
Prosecutors had sought an acquittal for the two players and Ribery's brother-in-law, who was also implicated, but investigating judge, Andre Dando, argued that they must have been aware of her real age.