SAINT-OMER, France, Dec 8 (AFP) – A trial of two parents accused of “renting” their children to three other couples to be raped and sexually molested by them began in this northern French town Monday.
The case, which was expected to run to Friday, was to be closed to the public at times, particularly when any of the six children involved were to testify, officials and lawyers said.
The parents of the children and the three couples were all facing charges. In France, a conviction for raping a minor under 15 carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
The identities of the adults were not given. The children are today aged 16, 12, 11, 10, seven and five.
According to prosecutors, the parents “rented” the children out to the three other couples between 1997 and 2000 to be raped, molested and to be made to feature in pornographic videos and photographs.
The parents have retracted an earlier confession admitting to the allegations, they said, adding that the father had initially boasted that he had earned nearly EUR 15,000 (USD 18,000) from the transactions.
Social welfare officials raised the alarm after early suspicions prompted them to start putting the children in foster care. Once away from their parents, the children were said to have gradually revealed the acts to which they had been subjected.
Subject: French news