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Thread: Gang-rape trial shocks France and sparks row over justice system

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Gang-rape trial shocks France and sparks row over justice system

    Verdicts will be delivered tomorrow in what has become a harrowing trip down memory lane for women who allege that they were brutally gang-raped as teenagers living in the high-rise tower blocks of a poor Parisian suburb. The alleged victims had been initially hailed as courageous at the outset of the trial, but after some pretty loathsome victim-blaming from several of the 14 male defendants and a suicide attempt by one of accusers, The Guardian reports that the French public is now reeling, faced with a previously overlooked culture of youth violence and a seemingly too-lenient justice system.

    The alleged victims — aliases Nina and Stephanie —have claimed that they endured months of near-daily gang rapes when they were just 15 and 16, growing up on the dilapidated estates in Fontenay-sous-Bois outside Paris. In 2005, Nina was left unconscious by an especially brutal beating after years of abuse, and decided to tell a female police officer, which led France to come face to face with similar gang rapes of teenage girls on similar estates across the country. The alleged attacks on Nina and Stephanie took place between 1999 and 2001, and, explains The Guardian's Angelique Chrisafis as she summarizes, Nina's account in the newspaper Libération, may have gone something like this:
    Nina, now 29, told the newspaper Libération she had moved to the housing estate aged seven with her mother and brother after a divorce. She was described as good at school and a tomboy. One night returning from the cinema, aged 16 and a virgin, she said, she was grabbed by a local group of youths, taken to basement cellars in the flats, raped and subjected to a series of brutal sex attacks by scores of local boys. The extremely violent, prolonged attacks by large groups of boys continued daily, in car parks, stairwells, apartments, cellars and the empty playground of a local nursery school. She said there would be "at least 25" youths present during attacks in which she screamed, protested, cried and vomited. One witness described 50 boys "queuing" to attack her.
    The nightmare continued well into adulthood — Nina has put on 150 pounds since the attacks, weight, she says, functions as a "shell" she can hide behind. She allowed herself to be filmed by the media and encouraged other victims to go to the police, saying "It was the accused who should hide, not me." With Nina's media appearances, the trial of 14 of her alleged attackers started off on a righteous course, but the jury was held behind closed doors because the accused were minors at the time of the attacks and the trial has consequently assumed a "tense and heavy atmosphere."


    That's in part because some of the men have denied the alleged crimes in all the worst possible shades of victim blaming, claiming, for instance that, if sex took place, it was strictly consensual, and even alleging that the victims "like sex." Trial details that made it into the hands of the press included some more sickening accounts of defendants saying that the two women were "too ugly to rape," or that sexual relations had not taken place "because if they had I would have heard Nina moaning in pleasure." In theory, explains Chrisafis, the men — ages 29-33, many of them now married with kids of their own — should each face the maximum 20 years in prison, but the state prosecutor has recommended prison sentences of between five and seven years for eight of them, since they were all minors at the time of the alleged attacks. As for the remaining six, prosecutors have vaguely said that there's some "doubt," without caring to elucidate that thorny concept any further, a move that has shocked the women's lawyers.


    Fraught Teenage Gang-Rape Trial in France Is on the Verge of a Verdict
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    oh good god!

    eta... and they were just "children" at the time. so I'm guessing those men are now to be tried as juveniles, right?

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    They were minors, so yes. The nature of the crime shouldn't alter that.
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    Un frickin believable. Is this the fucking 21st century or not? I can't believe shit like this still happens.
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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    That this even happened is bad enough but the public victim blaming that is going on is disgusting beyond belief. The comments they are making are ample proof of their complete lack of remorse and a potential sentence of 6 or 7 years is nowhere near enough. This part really pissed me off:

    even alleging that the victims "like sex."
    What the fuckety-fuck? So any woman who enjoys sex must automatically want it whenever, wherever and with as many sick bastards who want to join in? DIAF you vile piece of shit!
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    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post

    That's in part because some of the men have denied the alleged crimes in all the worst possible shades of victim blaming, claiming, for instance that, if sex took place, it was strictly consensual, and even alleging that the victims "like sex." Trial details that made it into the hands of the press included some more sickening accounts of defendants saying that the two women were "too ugly to rape," or that sexual relations had not taken place "because if they had I would have heard Nina moaning in pleasure." In theory, explains Chrisafis, the men — ages 29-33, many of them now married with kids of their own — should each face the maximum 20 years in prison, but the state prosecutor has recommended prison sentences of between five and seven years for eight of them, since they were all minors at the time of the alleged attacks. As for the remaining six, prosecutors have vaguely said that there's some "doubt," without caring to elucidate that thorny concept any further, a move that has shocked the women's lawyers.


    Fraught Teenage Gang-Rape Trial in France Is on the Verge of a Verdict
    This makes me sick. Misogyny at its finest.
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    Gold Member electrocuted_sheep's Avatar
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    I remember reading about this years ago as well, in the mid to late nineties, about these gang rapes going on in France. But I remember reading that there would be other girls helping these men gain access to other girls, to gang rape them. Like they would tell the guys where the girls would be, or lure some girls to locations under false pretenses that they would be hanging out together, then suddenly the girls they lured would be swarmed with groups of men ready to gang rape them.

    It was a disgusting read, but I remember being shocked and appalled and unable to wrap my head around as to why some girls would want to help men rape other girls. This article was ages ago, so I can't really remember as to why but it goes to show, gang rapes have been happening for quite some time in France.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default The Verdict in France’s Teenage Gang-Rape Trial Will Probably Infuriate You

    The verdict is in for the shocking teenage gang-rape trial in France, and depending on your level of world-weary, rape-trial cynicism, the results are probably going to shock you just as much as they shocked one of the victims' lawyers, who earlier today characterized the four-week-long proceedings as a "judicial shipwreck." Of the 14 men accused of brutally (and daily) gang-raping two women when they were teenagers living on the estates in Fontenay-sous-Bois outside Paris, ten were acquitted and four were handed sentences ranging from three years' suspended sentence to a single year in prison.

    According to The Guardian, public reaction to the verdict has, on the whole, wavered somewhere between outraged to cartoon-steam-out-of-ears, red-faced, fist-clenched rage that not a single defendant received the five to seven year sentences (already widely perceived as too lenient) recommended for eight of them by the state prosecutor. The court also determined that only one of the women, Nina, had been raped, and failed to uphold allegations from the other woman, Stephanie. Clothilde Lepetit, the lawyer responsible for the incisive nautical metaphor, further denounced what she described as a poorly handled trial fraught with judicial failures. Another lawyer for the women, Laure Heinich asked (in what we can only imagine was a deflated tone), "What sentence makes sense when one hears that gang-rapists are given a three years suspended sentence?"

    The Guardian's Angelique Chrisafis notes that the unsatisfying verdict "has highlighted the problems in historic rape investigations where material evidence is lacking and much rests on the women's word." Lawyers for the women, moreover, said they felt that their clients' testimony had been disrespected during the proceedings, a rape-trial phenomenon we on the other side of the Atlantic have had our fair share of conniption-fit-inducing experiences with.

    The great-galloping surprised of a verdict has elicited some choice responses from prominent figures across France, including French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who said that the women probably had grounds for appeal, adding that "gang-rapes" are indeed a shocking, nauseating phenomenon:
    Personally, I'm shocked by gang-rapes, by every form of aggression against women and I think we have to create conditions so that the facts are established and those guilty can be effectively identified.
    As for the accused, many of them, shock of all shocks, told the French media that they were relieved by the verdicts.


    The Verdict in France
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  9. #9
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Ahhh, sweet sweet justice. Now, go forth and rape ALL you want because there is no punishment!
    electrocuted_sheep likes this.
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
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