By Onz Chery
Romain Molina, the investigative journalist who broke the story of the alleged sexual misconduct of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF) president, Yves ‘Dadou’ Jean-Bart defended his reporting saying that he has documents and other proof to back up his story.
“Yes, I have everything recorded,” Molina told The Haitian Times. “It’s reserved to international justice/FIFA. Absolutely confidential as you imagine. I can put the victims at risk.”
The reporter later said: “Investigations were totally validated by so many lawyers—everything—case transmitted to the international authorities. I mean, man, do you really believe that I will risk my entire career if I wasn’t sure of what I have? I’m just fighting sexual criminals.
“I’m fighting for these girls, for all the victims in the last two decades. So, I have no doubt. There’s no doubt. There are sexual criminals running the Haitian federation of football. And the hard case will be prosecuted, I think by internationals authorities. That’s it.”
Jean-Bart was accused of sexually abusing some of the women players who live at the training center in Croix-des-Bouquets alongside other people of his entourage. One of Jean-Bart’s alleged victims was a girl who lost her virginity to him at 17 years of age in 2018. She later had to get an abortion, according to The Guardian.
On May 4, the players staged a protest of support for the embattled president.
“Stop dirtying us with all those dirty false accusations,” read one of the signs.
“We are President Dadou,” read another one held by Ruthny Mathurin.
Molina hinted that the players organized this protest because some of their families are under death threats via a tweet on Tuesday.
“It’s now a matter of life and death. Yves Jean-Bart and friends (including local gang) pressured and threatened families of the victims to keep their mouth shut. Otherwise…
“I contacted FIFA about it but nothing: do you expect a dead body to finally react? Unbelievable.”
The journalist told The Haitian Times that he also received “death threats.”
More on Molina’s side, in a video interview conducted in 2018, Jean-Bart rested his arm on one of Haiti’s players’ shoulders, Melchie ‘Corventina’ Dumornay. The video made some people uncomfortable.
Corventina said via Haitian Plus TV on Tuesday that her relationship with Jean-Bart is a father-daughter like relationship and that she never heard any complaints of sexual abuse nor abortion from any of her fellow Haitian players. The starlet expressed that the accusers must give proofs.
“Those people don’t respect our [us players] image,” she said in an interview in Creole. “I don’t have a problem with them accusing the center but bring proofs, bring what you have to accuse the center, justify what you said,” she said.
However, Molina claims to have recordings of the victims talking. Molina a well-known independent sportswriter, who wrote a biography on one of Uruguay’s star soccer players, Edinson Cavani, and another one on a prominent coach, Unai Emery.
He also wrote investigative articles for BBC, New York Times, and for other publications.
“Do you really think I’m a fool?” the reporter said after mentioning his previous works to the Haitian Times.
To back up Molina’s accusations on Jean-Bart, a woman (she prefers to remain anonymous for safety issues) who went to a coaching training program at the center in 2016 told The Haitian Times that some former Haitian women players and a referee were talking about sexual abuse directed toward the players.
“I always heard about those stuff, that the president had a history with some of the players, especially the star players,” the woman said in Creole originally. “If it’s for abuse, they played with the kids a lot.”
Nevertheless, some other Haitians, including renowned rapper Izolan, believe that Ernso Laurence instigated the allegations. Laurence is a former Haitian international player who wasn’t allowed to run for the federation’s presidency in January.
“It honestly makes me laugh,” Molina said about the thought of Laurence organizing the accusations. “I interviewed him [Laurence] once for the election and that’s it. I think it’s absolutely amazing that Dadou is believing that there’s a plot against him.”
Jean-Bart is so convinced that the rape allegation is a conspiracy against him that he asked for an investigation via a statement on May 2.
Molina agrees with the need for an investigation but believes that Jean-Bart will ultimately be proven guilty.
“My birthday gift is to continue this battle against the sexual criminals of the Haitian federation and knowing that one day, they will pay,” he tweeted on May 3.