Ex Leeds United player Stephen Scholes jailed for 17 years over 'depraved' rape of teenager after getting her drunk

A former Leeds United footballer has been jailed for 17 years for the “depraved” rape of a teenage girl.
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Stephen Scholes, 55, was jailed at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday (February 28) for four counts of rape of a woman aged 16 or over and four counts of assault by penetration.

Following a trial in January this year he was found guilty of all eight offences, which happened in the early hours of January 25, 2020.

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Prosecutor Robert Stevenson said that Scholes lived in Tenerife at the time but was staying at a property in Leeds, when he took the victim out and “plied her with alcohol”.

Stephen Scholes, who has been jailed after being found guilty of rape at Leeds Crown Court.Stephen Scholes, who has been jailed after being found guilty of rape at Leeds Crown Court.
Stephen Scholes, who has been jailed after being found guilty of rape at Leeds Crown Court.

She became “very intoxicated” and “felt sick and disorientated” and Scholes took her back to the property where “he told her that the night was not yet over”. He then climbed into bed with the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and began taking her clothes off and touching her inappropriately.

Mr Stevenson said: “She was aware of what was going on but felt helpless and unresponsive, unable to move due to being under the influence of something.”

Scholes went on to rape the woman, despite her “shouting for him to stop”. He also took pictures on his phone as he was raping the victim. After the first attack, Scholes put the victim in another room and later returned and raped her a second time.

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The victim called the police the next day and gave three interviews, during which she said that she had been left “ashamed”. Scholes’s semen was found from the forensic examination of the victim, who was in pain for days after the attack. During police a interview, Scholes denied the offences and claimed that the victim “forced herself onto him”. Scholes deleted the images he had taken from his phone but these were later recovered.

Mr Recorder S. Jackson KC sentenced Scholes to 17 years in custody plus three years on an extended license and placed him on the sex offenders register.

Following the sentence, the officer in the case, DS Craig Stevens, said that an impact statement read out by the victim had left staff from West Yorkshire Police in the gallery “in tears”.

He said: “I have been a police officer for 20 years and it’s probably the most impactful statement I have ever heard.”

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DS Stevens added that after he arrested Scholes, the defendant noticed that he was wearing a Leeds United lanyard and told him that he used to play for the club in the 1980s. He said: “He made a big play of it.”

Ds Stevens added: “The sentence is brilliant and reflects how bad the offence was. He was so arrogant. He thought he was never going to be found guilty.

"It’s been a long, hard road for the victim. I can’t emphasise enough how brave she’s been since that depraved attack.

"She’s fronted him up in court and did everything I asked of her. He would not have got that sentence if it wasn’t for her.”