League One footballer Williams Kokolo on trial for raping a student in Birmingham

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Williams Kokolo, who signed for Burton from Middlesbrough last January, went on trial accused of three counts of rape at Coventry Crown Court today (Monday, June 12)

A League One footballer raped a university student at her halls of residence after putting a pillow in her mouth to stop her from screaming, a court heard.

Burton Albion star Williams Kokolo, 23, is accused of attacking the alleged victim after she invited him to a student party in Birmingham on February 13 last year.

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A court heard how the pair had met on a dating website and had been messaging on Snapchat as the woman, 24, wanted to get to know the player better.

After being invited to her room, Kokolo raped the student after she returned from the bathroom to find him in just his boxer shorts, jurors were told.

He is said to have forced her to perform oral sex on him before he also had sexual intercourse with her as she pleaded with him to stop.

The former Sunderland and Middlesbrough player also "picked up a small pillow and forced it into her mouth" and kept telling her to "shush", it was alleged.

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The complainant said after he had finished, Kokolo saw her sitting on the bed with her head in her hands and asked: "What’s wrong baby girl?"

He then left the property in the Aston area of the city in the night and the woman said she later contacted police after telling her ex-boyfriend what had happened. In an interview with police, she later told how Kokolo had treated her "like a piece of garbage" to get "what he wanted."

Williams Kokolo on trial for raping a student in BirminghamWilliams Kokolo on trial for raping a student in Birmingham
Williams Kokolo on trial for raping a student in Birmingham | SWNS

French-born Kokolo, who signed for Burton from Middlesbrough last January, went on trial accused of three counts of rape at Coventry Crown Court today (Monday, June 12).

Opening the case, prosecutor Nicholas Tatlow said: "The defendant is a footballer for Burton Albion, the complainant had been in a relationship but at the time had broken up.

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"In her contact with Mr Kokolo they spoke to each other. And on one occasion she arranged for him to pick her up in Birmingham after a night out. But she stood him up at the last minute after her friends said to her she should not meet him.

"She went to a student party near to her own student accommodation. During the evening she contacted the defendant to ask her to come meet him. She wanted to meet him to talk and she made it clear that she did want there to be any sexual activity. They were at a ‘getting to know you stage’ of which might go on to become a relationship.

"They met outside, he told her she smelled of drink, she told him she was drunk. They went up to her flat. She went to the toilet and came out to see the defendant stripped to his boxer shorts.

"He told her that was how he always slept. She had not talked about him stopping over but she was unduly concerned.

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"But what she did do was tell him she wanted no sexual activity. Notwithstanding that she did lean in to kiss him as that seemed to be what he wanted. Instead of a kiss, he forced her head down to his penis. He took off her underwear ignoring her protests. He was on top of her, she tried to push him off but he couldn’t.

"She tried to scream but he picked up a small pillow and forced it into her mouth. He turned her around and penetrated her from behind.

"Then he stopped and again forced her head down onto his penis. He let go of her, she went to the bathroom, came back and he was asleep. She too lay down on the bed as far away as she could and went to sleep.

"During the night she heard a noise as the defendant got out of bed and left. She sent him a message accusing him of rape. He didn’t respond to it."

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Burton Albion football defender William Kokolo arriving at Birmingham Crown Court September 27, 2022Burton Albion football defender William Kokolo arriving at Birmingham Crown Court September 27, 2022
Burton Albion football defender William Kokolo arriving at Birmingham Crown Court September 27, 2022 | Anita Maric / SWNS

In her interview with police played to the court, the woman, who cannot be named, told cops: "I asked him to come to the party so we could get to know each other. I told him I didn’t want to do anything sexual and he said that was fine."

She added after coming back from the bathroom at her flat, she found Kokolo on her bed wearing his boxer shorts. She said: "He was just like ‘I sleep in my boxers’. I said I did not invite you to sleep over. I told him specifically I did not want to do anything sexual.

"He was on the bed and I sat beside him and he seemed like he wanted to kiss me. So I leaned in and he took my head and forced it down on him.

"Then he kept pushing my head down. He then took off my thongs and he didn’t even try to kiss me or do foreplay or even ask me if I wanted to do it. He just kept forcing himself on me. I was trying to push him off me. He kept telling me to shush.

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"I was saying ‘no’ and stuff to him and then he turned me around and thrusted from behind and then I kept making noise and he kept saying shush. He then kept forcing my head down on him.

Burton Albion football defender William Kokolo arriving at Birmingham Crown Court 27 September 2022Burton Albion football defender William Kokolo arriving at Birmingham Crown Court 27 September 2022
Burton Albion football defender William Kokolo arriving at Birmingham Crown Court 27 September 2022 | Anita Maric / SWNS

"I was disgusted I couldn’t be in full control to push him off. And I was sitting on the edge of my bed and I took off my dress. He hadn’t even taken that off, he just treated me like a piece of garbage to get what he wanted.

"I was on my bed with my head down. I think of sex as a sacred thing between two people who love each other. And he took that away from me.

"I kept holding my head and he just asked ‘what’s wrong baby girl’? He knew what he had done was wrong but he didn’t even want to admit it. I woke up in the middle of the night and he was leaving. The next morning he sent me a Snapchat of me snoring.

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"I told him you basically raped me and you took advantage of me and you did whatever you wanted and just left. I told him never to speak to me again and blocked him on everything."

Kokolo, who was in the youth ranks at Monaco before moving to Championship side Sunderland, denies three counts of rape. The trial continues.