N France trial of adult gangon child rape, torture charges

4th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

SAINT-OMER, France, May 4 (AFP) - Seventeen people, including six women, went on trial in northern France on Tuesday for the gang rape over a five-year period of 18 children, aged three to 12, in a case that shocked the country.

SAINT-OMER, France, May 4 (AFP) - Seventeen people, including six women, went on trial in northern France on Tuesday for the gang rape over a five-year period of 18 children, aged three to 12, in a case that shocked the country.

Some of the defendants, aged 24 to 67, are also charged with "rape with torture" or "rape with barbaric acts" in connection with events that unfolded in a rundown housing project in Outreau, outside the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Most of the victims in the Outreau case, the largest pedophilia case ever tried in northern France, are the offspring of the defendants. Some will testify against their own parents.

In December 2000, social services alerted prosecutors to possible sexual abuse committed by an unemployed couple, named only as Thierry D. and Myriam, against their own four children.

The minors, once they had been placed in foster care, told investigators they had been fondled, raped, coerced into performing sex acts with animals and forced to watch pornographic films, and named other individuals involved.

Police seized 163 pornographic videos and sex toys from their family apartment, where the illicit sex sessions allegedly took place.

In 2001, other members of the alleged pedophilia ring, including a bailiff and his wife, a taxi driver and a priest, were placed under investigation.

A total of 18 people were accused of involvement in the abuse. One committed suicide in prison before the case came to trial.

Three defendants have admitted their role in the rape of the Outreau children. The 14 others standing trial have denied any involvement.

The trial is expected to last six weeks.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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