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SOCCER

France players Ribery and Benzema back on trial, accused of soliciting underage prostitute

Fashion designer Zahia Behar leaves after attending attend the Atelier Versace Spring-Summer 2014 Haute Couture fashion collection, presented Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 in Paris. (AP Photo/Zacharie Scheurer)The Associated Press

A trial involving Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has resumed, with the two facing up to three years in prison on charges of soliciting an underage prostitute.

The criminal court trial had initially been set for June but was adjourned for procedural reasons. It resumed Monday — but without Ribery or Benzema present. They are legally entitled to be represented by their lawyers instead.

Self-described escort Zahia Dehar, now 21, contends Ribery flew her to Munich as a birthday present to himself in 2009 when she was under 18. She says she lied to the players and told them she was an adult.

Ribery says he didn't know she was a prostitute or a minor. Benzema denies the allegations.