TWO Charlton Athletic starlets accused of a sex attack on a Brit tourist in Ibiza could languish in a Spanish jail on remand for years.
Forwards Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, 20, and Karlan Ahearne-Grant, also 20, were arrested on Tuesday after a 19-year-old girl was attacked at a hotel in Cala de Bou, near the party resort of San Antonio.
The promising pair could face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of raping her.
An unnamed third British suspect aged 26, who is accused of being the sex attacker, was arrested on Wednesday and also appeared today.
One of the young footballers allegedly held the girl down during the assault while the other filmed it, sources said.
The trio were led into the courthouse in Ibiza town centre in handcuffs by Spanish police.
Legal experts told how they could face being banged up on remand for years.
One Spanish lawyer, who did not want to be named, told The Sun: “The time limit for a case to come to court is theoretically two years, but a judge can even extend that period if needed.
“Usually a case like this should be dealt with and be ready to go to trial in six months.”
Sexual aggression charges can carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail in Spain if two or more people take part or there is violence.
Why the players could face years on remand
In Spain, a defendant will be brought before a judge or released within 72 hours of arrest but this can be extended by another two days in exceptional circumstances.
The first appearance involves the judge deciding whether there is a case to be answered based on evidence submitted by the police.
The judge will then either release the accused without charge, place them on provisional liberty – with or without bail – or remand them in custody.
There is a maximum period during which an accused person can be held in prison without trial – up to 12 months where the alleged offence is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three years or less, and up to 24 months where it would be punishable by a term of three years and one day or more.
But if the investigating Judge is satisfied that there are valid reasons for the police not being able to complete their case within the time, or there is reason to believe the accused will escape the Court’s jurisdiction if released, the Judge may extend the pre-trial detention period by a further 6 and 24 months respectively.
This means in effect that a person can be held on remand up to 4 years.
In the UK, a defendant can be held on remand for a maximum of 182 days.
The alleged attack took place after the players partied at the Ocean Beach celeb hangout in San Antonio.
The popular club is run by Gary Lineker’s brother Wayne.
The girl and a female friend met the footballers and agreed to go back to their Cala de Bou hotel with them.
She reported the alleged assault after her parents discovered what had happened.
A source said: “The third man held is the suspected sex attacker.
“One of the two other men is suspected of holding the woman down during the alleged sex attack and the other of recording it.”
The trio, who were all thought to be on holiday in Ibiza, were quizzed throughout the afternoon by an investigating magistrate behind closed doors.
The hearing could see the magistrate dismiss the case, remand them in custody or release them on bail.
The first two arrests are understood to have happened around 6.40am on Tuesday.
Cala de Bou, which is in the municipality of San Jose, is a popular location for tourists looking to stay somewhere quieter than San Antonio but within easy reach of the party resort.
A Charlton Athletic spokesman said: “The club have been made aware and are looking into this matter.
“Due to the ongoing investigation we will not be commenting any further at this stage.”
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Ahearne-Grant, born in Greenwich is a forward who signed with Charlton as a 17-year-old in September 2014.
He has made more than 60 appearances with the club in Championship and League One football and has played for England at U17, U18 and U19.
Redbridge born Hackett-Fairchild made his professional debut with Charlton in August last year, and hit the net twice in 12 appearances.
He has previously spent time with Dagenham & Redbridge and Dulwich Hamlet.
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