Genoa midfielder Manolo Portanova has finally come out to defend himself against the rape allegations that, according to the former Juventus player, cost him a call-up to the national team.
Speaking to Il Secolo XIX, Portanova, who was taken into police custody following the allegations of him being involved in gang rape of a 21-year-old woman at a house party in Siena on May 30, 2021, claimed that neither he nor any of his companions did anything wrong with the lady forcefully. Instead, according to the Genoa man, he had a consensual relationship with the woman. Portanova said:
“It was the girl, who now accuses me, sought me out with an explicit text message; there was no group sexual assault but a consensual relationship. These accusations also took away my national team. Prison? I am innocent, I will be acquitted.
“I did not force the girl in the slightest and neither did the others who were with me. I am only repulsed by the idea of taking advantage of a woman, let alone doing it with four people. This accusation hurt me deeply because of the way I am, and so did my brother and my uncle who is my age.”
Following the incident, Portanova was initially kept under house arrest, but his sentence was revoked later. Despite being an alleged rapist, he was allowed to play games in Serie A when Genoa were still in the top flight of Italian football. According to the investigators, four perpetrators—including Portanova’s brother, uncle, and a 17-year-old teenager—were reportedly engaged in the wrongdoing.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder