Friday, May 20

A man sentenced to 30 years for the rapes of a young girl even in a prison visit

A 52-year-old man, a former volunteer firefighter, was sentenced Thursday to 30 years of criminal imprisonment in Nîmes for countless rapes committed on the daughter of his companion, up to the visiting room of the prison where he was detained.

The girl’s mother was found guilty of complicity and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, while the prosecution had requested a 10-year sentence against her.

In this case, “the truth, it shatters”, underlined the Advocate General, Pierre Couttenier, speaking directly to the victim, now aged 19, by noting all the deficiencies, failures, hesitations, which from the prison administration to justice and educational assistance services, “left this child alone facing the world” and her “predator”.

During his indictment, on the third day of this trial opened on Tuesday, the Advocate General had beaten his guilt for a long time, “pleading guilty as a defender of society”.

While he had always refuted, during the investigation of this case, the term “paedophile”, the main defendant admitted the facts during the hearings, eventually admitting that he was indeed attracted to children.

“I take it to your credit and that’s the only thing,” the Advocate General told him. For the rest, “the staggering number of crimes you have committed are the sign of a dangerous personality”, he added.

In detention since 2013 and definitively sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015 for raping other underage girls, the ex-firefighter and former boxer will see this old sentence and that of 30 years pronounced Thursday automatically confused.

“Which means that you will not serve 20 years plus 30, but 30 years in all”, underlined the president of the Gard assize court when announcing the verdict, delivered after two hours of deliberation.

“I don’t like him, he’s not a good guy. But he’s someone who started a path. Before, he couldn’t do it. Now he says + it’s me +”, had pleaded the defendant’s lawyer, Ludovic Para.

– A mother in denial –

With regard to the companion of the ex-firefighter, also on the dock, Pierre Couttenier stressed that it was she who, in 2011, when his daughter was seven or eight years old, “opened the door” of her house to a man she barely knew.

She was also the one who let him sleep almost immediately in the little girl’s bed, drive her to school or share a hotel room, all opportunities he seized to rape her.

Then, when the man she said she was in love with was imprisoned for raping minors, she did not want to believe in his guilt.

She then forced her daughter to accompany her 107 times to the visiting room of the Nîmes remand center, where he will impose digital penetrations on her until January 2016.

In her defence, she keeps repeating that she hadn’t imagined anything, perceived anything, guessed anything, despite her daughter’s denunciations.

“By your actions, you have made possible” these “almost daily” rapes, said the Advocate General, recognizing, however, extenuating circumstances for this 51-year-old woman, deprived of affection and education during her childhood, chronically depressed and suffering at the time from cancer.

“Did she knowingly participate in these horrible crimes? No, but she lived in denial, she didn’t want to see,” said one of her lawyers, Me Wafae Ezzaitab.

The judges and jurors of the assize court finally sentenced her to 15 years in prison, five more than the public prosecutor demanded.

The two convicted have ten days to appeal.

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