Two stars from The Voice of Holland to be prosecuted for sex offenses
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The Public Prosecution Service (OM) has decided to prosecute rapper Ali B. and bandleader Jeroen Rietbergen for several sex offenses connected to the television program The Voice of Holland. The investigation into allegations naming singer Marco Borsato, which were also linked to his work on The Voice, have been shelved for a lack of evidence, the OM said. Earlier, prosecutors dropped their case against one of the directors involved with the television show.
Ali B. is being prosecuted for sexual offenses allegedly committed against three adult women which were said to have taken place between 2014 and 2018. These incidents took place in Amsterdam and Heiloo, both in Noord-Holland, and also abroad. One incident more directly concerns his time as a talent coach on The Voice. A fourth woman also tried to press charges against the rapper, but the allegation did not amount to a criminal offense, the OM said.
Rietbergen, the show's composer and bandleader, is suspected of a sexual offense that dates back to February 2018. That incident allegedly took place in or around the the studios where The Voice was recorded.
Although Borsato has been cleared from the investigation regarding The Voice, a separate sex crimes investigation is still ongoing against him. This has to do with an incident from December 2021 that is unrelated to The Voice of Holland. Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will push forward with that case. The singer also filed a statement against the accuser, where he alleged she committed both libel and slander.
In total, three reports related to The Voice were dropped, according to the OM. Two of these were due to insufficient evidence and one because the OM believes that no criminal act took place.
RTL abruptly stopped broadcasting The Voice of Holland last January after multiple reports were filed about possible cases of sexual misconduct behind the scenes. A few days later, an episode of the online video program BOOS was published which detailed incidents about sexually transgressive behavior behind the scenes of The Voice and The Voice Kids. In that particular episode, former candidates claimed to have been harassed by employees of the talent show, and were subjected to abuses of power. Several alleged victims subsequently reported their allegations to police.
Rietbergen admitted before the BOOS episode had appeared that he was guilty of transgressive behaviour. He confessed to having relationships of a "sexual nature" with women involved in the program. The show's former talent coach, Ali B., has always denied claims that he was guilty of sexually transgressive behavior. Borsato, also a former coach, previously denied the allegations against him in a statement.
The investigation into abuse behind the scenes at The Voice has been ongoing since last April.
Reporting by ANP