Tuesday, May 24

Dijon/Jura. A woman guru who said she saw the Virgin sentenced to two years in prison suspended

She assures us that the Virgin appears to her every 15th of the month… After twenty years of proceedings, the woman guru of the Jura Éliane Deschamps, 67, was sentenced Monday by the correctional court of Dijon (Côte-d’Or) to two-year suspended prison sentence for abuse of weakness, report our colleagues from Public Good.

His co-defendant and right-hand man Daniel Delestrac, 75, received the same sentence. The defendants are also ordered to pay between 2,000 euros and 20,000 euros in compensation to seven civil parties.

The sentences imposed are greater than the requisitions of the prosecution, which had requested a suspended sentence of one year, considering that Éliane Deschamps had locked up her followers in a “spiritual prison” in the name of the Virgin Mary. The defendants faced five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 750,000 euros.

Ex-members recognized as victims, not the current ones

“It’s a strong message. The influence is recognized,” reacted Loïc Duchanoy, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, saying he was “satisfied”. But the court found the two defendants guilty only for the complaints of former followers and not current members. “Those who left the sect are victims but those who are still there are not. This surprises us a lot, ”added Me Duchanoy. “It’s curious,” he said, waiting to see if the prosecution will appeal.

“It is not coherent”, also estimated Didier Pascaud, lawyer for Eliane Deschamps, who had requested the release of his client. “It puzzles us. If there is influence, everyone is under influence, ”he added, without commenting on a possible appeal.

” Abuse of weakness “

During the trial in November, the prosecution had denounced the “vast deception” of the appearances claimed by the septuagenarian. “The gourelle dramatizes” these so-called appearances, said the deputy prosecutor, Pascal Labonne-Collin, in order to “attract people” to the community whose name, “Love and Mercy”, masks an “abuse of weakness perfectly constituted”. By “submission”, he argued, the defendant locked up the members of his “sect”, still active in Petit-Noir (Jura), in a “spiritual prison”, threatening them with “banishment” and leading “quasi-Stalinist trials where one accuses in public”.

Rodolphe Bosselut, another civil party lawyer, recalled that a priest had visited the community as early as 2003 and was convinced that its founder was “a manipulator.”

The followers are “objects in the hands” of Éliane Deschamps, had abounded Loïc Duchanoy, evoking a “conditioning”.


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