Footballer stripped to underwear and sexually assaulted sleeping woman

Salim Kouider-Aïssa, 27, preyed on the 23-year-old at a flat in Kirkintilloch on October 31 2021.

Airdrie footballer Salim Kouider-Aïssa convicted of sexually assaulting sleeping woman SNS Group

A Scots footballer has been convicted of a sex attack on a sleeping woman.

Salim Kouider-Aïssa, 27, preyed on the 23-year-old at a flat in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, on October 31, 2021.

The Airdrie forward stripped to his underwear in bed and touched the woman inappropriately.

Kouider-Aïssa claimed that went into the bed to “get a good sleep” and believed the woman was awake.

The victim told jurors about the horrific attack hours before Kouider-Aïssa was named in the Airdrie squad for their crunch promotion play-off match with Hamilton Accies on Wednesday.

The woman stated that she met Kouider-Aïssa at a friend’s flat after a night out.

She went to a spare bedroom alone at 5am, with Kouider-Aïssa warned by a friend to stay in the living room.

Prosecutor Mark Allan at Glasgow Sheriff Court asked the woman for her next memory.

She said: “I woke up and I could feel someone behind me, that’s when I realised what he was doing.”

Mr Allan asked who was behind her.

She replied: “Salim.”

The woman described that Kouider-Aïssa intimately touched her.

She added: “I woke up really shocked, I went into bed myself and was shocked to have someone behind me.

“I was shouting ‘what are you doing’ and he said ‘I thought you were awake, what have I done’.

“It wouldn’t matter if I was as there was no consent.”

The woman added that Kouider-Aïssa “knew he was going to get himself into so much trouble.”

She stated that Kouider-Aïssa left the flat and that she phoned the police around lunchtime to report the matter.

Mr Allan asked how that morning made her feel for the days and months that followed.

The woman replied: “Horrendous, so anxious about everything, it is so horrible that someone could do that to you.”

Kouider-Aïssa told jurors in his evidence that he was not able to get comfortable sleeping on the couch.

He stated that he went into the bed “to get a good sleep” and lay beside her.

Kouider-Aïssa claimed he removed his clothes as he was hot during the night.

He admitted rubbing the woman’s leg and kissing her neck.

The footballer added that he went on to carry out a sex act on her stating: “I had belief she was consenting by the way she was moving about the bed, moving her body to me.”

Kouider-Aïssa now believes the woman was asleep due to hearing her evidence through the criminal process.

After the woman confronted him in bed, Kouider-Aïssa told a friend: “I’ve f***ed it, I thought she was awake.” 

Mr Allan asked: “There is one easy way to make sure she was awake isn’t there?”

Kouider-Aïssa replied: “I suppose so.”

Mr Allan said: “You didn’t ask her if she was awake during any of this?”

Kouider-Aïssa responded: “No.”

Kouider-Aïssa was escorted out of the flat and was picked up by teammate Max Currie who took them to training.

The attacker then handed himself into police later that day after watching a football match with his uncle.

The first offender, also of Kirkintilloch, was found guilty of a single charge of sexual assault.

He bowed his head after the verdict was announced.

Lawyer Graeme Brown will make his plea in mitigation at next month’s sentencing.

Kouider-Aïssa was put on the sex offenders register and granted bail meantime by Sheriff Matthew Jackson KC.

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