Riot police on trial for gang-raping prostitutes

7th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 7, 2007 (AFP) - Seven former riot police officers from the northern Paris outskirts went on trial Friday accused of gang-raping local prostitutes over a two-year period.

PARIS, Sept 7, 2007 (AFP) - Seven former riot police officers from the northern Paris outskirts went on trial Friday accused of gang-raping local prostitutes over a two-year period.

According to prosecutors, the officers used to stop the prostitutes -- many of them illegal immigrants -- for identity checks, promising to turn a blind eye to their situation in exchange for sexual favours.

The rapes were reported to the police's internal inspectorate in 2003 by an association campaigning for prostitutes' rights.

Romaric Leclercq, 28, Yohann Mahe, 29, and Cyril Dussart, 31, are charged with aggravated collective rape and abuse of authority, while four of their former colleagues are accused of complicity.

The three main suspects have been expelled from police ranks, while the others have been temporarily suspended.

Only one of the alleged victims, a 28-year-old Albanian woman, was present at the opening of the trial in Paris.

In an anonymous interview Friday with Europe 1 radio, one of the accused said he and his colleagues saw their dealings with the prostitutes as a "joke", and that their behaviour was tolerated in police ranks.

"Most of the time, we were under the influence of alcohol, it was a group thing. It was known and tolerated by our superiors," he said.

"We used to go there for a bit of fun... We would ask: 'How much is it for police then, what's your name, where are you from'. Maybe they didn't think we were joking, but that was our frame of mind."

AFP

Subject: French news

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