Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Paris: seven policemen charged with rape of prostitutes

From 'Liberation' newspaper, Wednesday 13th September 2006, and NouvelObs.com.

Seven members of the parisian riot police (CRS) are facing sentences of up to twenty years imprisonment for the rape of three eastern european prostitutes in April 2003. Three of the men admitted to the rapes during an internal police inquiry and are charged with aggravated rape, while four others are charged with complicity. Only one of the women will be present at the court proceedings as the others have - understandably - fled from fear of reprisal from the men.

Late one night in April the police picked up the first women on the pretence of checking her ID documents, took her to an isolated area next to a motorway and raped her, then returned her to the street where they found her. Later the same night they picked up the other two women on the same pretext, took them to the same isolated area and forced them to have sex in exchange for the return of their ID documents. One woman attempted to run away and was recaptured and raped. On the journey back both women managed to escape from the car and were picked up by a passing lorry driver.

It is excellent to see that the police and courts are taking this case seriously, particularly considering the women were prostitutes and therefore had even less chance of being believed than non-prostitutes. The men involved obviously believed this to be the case.

The case is also a good example of why so few women go to the police when they have been raped or sexually assualted - according to Truth About Rape less than 7% of women report their rape to the police - we know that there is no reason why policemen will be any different from the men who assualted or raped us.

These rapists are normal men with supposedly respectable jobs who feel entitled to use women in any way they please. Let's hope they get what they deserve - I'll keep you posted.

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