'Luxury' social worker on appeal for paedophilia

26th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 26, 2006 (AFP) - The French director of a home for problem adolescents who believed exposure to luxury was the best way to cure behavioural difficulties appeared in a Paris court Wednesday to appeal against his conviction for paedophilia.

PARIS, April 26, 2006 (AFP) - The French director of a home for problem adolescents who believed exposure to luxury was the best way to cure behavioural difficulties appeared in a Paris court Wednesday to appeal against his conviction for paedophilia.

Robert Megel, 58, has been in prison since December 2004 when he was jailed for 11 years for rape and sexual assault on two boys staying at his care home in a castle outside the French capital.

At the start of the appeal hearing, which will last till May 12, Megel again protested his innocence, claiming to have received innumerable letters of support from former inmates.

A former civil servant, Megel bought the chateau de Tournelles in the early 1990s thanks to a legacy from a wealthy old lady, and took in boys aged between seven and 18 whom he promised to reform by instilling "a taste and respect for the beautiful."

For a time his system won praise from psychologists and was visited by well-known personalities such as Raisa Gorbachev, the wife of the former Soviet president.

But at the original trial, witnesses described numerous acts of sexual assault and specialists questioned the educational merit of activities including trips to top Paris night-clubs and holidays in Morocco.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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