Footballer accused of hotel rape after night out with ex-Love Islander

·3-min read

A former Watford FC footballer is accused of raping a woman as she slept after a night out at luxury clubs in London’s West End, a court heard.

Ashley Charles, 23, allegedly forced himself on the woman in a hotel room while his friend, ex-Love Island contestant Dennon Lewis, was sleeping nearby.

Snaresbrook crown court heard former Watford youth players Charles and Mr Lewis, together with a fellow footballer Michael Philips, had been out at clubs including Mahiki, Club Maddox, and Lords London on March 14 last year.

They had arranged to meet the woman and her friend, who Mr Lewis had been messaging on social media for a few weeks, and at the end of the evening they went back to the women’s hotel room.

Jurors heard the alleged victim had consensual sex with Mr Philips during the night, and says she “woke up to find a male, Ashley Charles, on top of her”.

“Her friend had arranged to meeting Dennon Lewis, Ashley Charles and male known as Michael in London for a night out”, said PC Daniel Guy.

“When they finished the night out, they all went back to the hotel. (The friend) and Dennon shared the double bed, (she) and Michael shared a sofa, and Ashley slept on the floor.

“She and Michael had consensual sex before going to sleep. Michael woke up at around 7.30am and left the address, leaving (her) to get back to sleep.

“At around 8.15am, she woke up to find Ashley on top of her having vaginal sex with her from behind.

“She screamed for him to get off her, which woke up (her friend) and Dennon.”

Ashley Charles is on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)
Ashley Charles is on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

Charles denies rape and insists the claim that he had sex with the woman is untrue.

Giving evidence, Mr Lewis, now playing up front for Boreham Wood FC and who appeared at Casa Amor in the fifth series of ITV reality show Love Island, said the woman was “upset” as he tried to find out what had happened.

“Obviously it’s a difficult thing to deal with – it’s a very hard one”, he told the court, giving evidence via videolink.

“My reaction was ‘are you sure?’ – I wanted to find out exactly what happened from both sides.

“I was asking the question ‘what actually happened?’. Ash said nothing happened, he didn’t do anything. (She) was upset.

“I told Ash to go and wait in my car, while I sorted it out, and I spoke to them properly.”

He said his friend, when first accused of rape, pulled down his boxer shorts to show his penis to Mr Lewis.

“He was saying ‘does it look like I’ve done that?’”, said Mr Lewis.

“As a gentleman, you know, especially if it’s just happened.”

The alleged victim’s friend called the police, who attended the hotel room and questioned Mr Charles.

The court heard Charles and Mr Lewis met when they played in the Watford youth ranks, with Mr Lewis telling the court his friend – now a Wealdstone FC player – is “always respectful”.

“I met Ash through playing football. We were both playing for Watford from a young age”, he said.

“I got to know him very well, He’s an unbelievable boy, very very polite, respectful. I can’t speak highly enough of Ash. He’s a very respectful young man.”

Charles, who lives in Watford, denies rape. The trial continues.

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