A historic first before the assizes in France: a rape recognized as “lesbophobic”

A historic first before the assizes in France: a rape recognized as “lesbophobic”
A historic first before the assizes in France: a rape recognized as “lesbophobic”

This is a “historic” decision according to the victim’s lawyer and lesbian activists: on Friday, the Paris Assize Court sentenced a man to 14 years in prison for “rape because of sexual orientation” on a homosexual woman.

In March 2020, Jeanne’s attacker (whose first name was changed at her request) was sentenced to 15 years by the Seine-Saint-Denis Assize Court. But the aggravating circumstance of homophobia had not been retained.

This time, the jurors and the judges considered that it was about a lesbophobic rape, in particular because the accused, aged 25, “knew from the beginning of their meeting the sexual orientation” of his victim.

In the early morning of October 8, 2017, he had raped, abused and humiliated her for more than an hour in the closed door of her apartment in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis), where the 34-year-old young woman had refused to have sex, after meeting and flirting in the streets of Paris.

The court also relied on the testimony of the young woman, who had repeatedly recounted the sentence launched as a warning by her attacker: “Do you like girls? Well I’ll make you enjoy it “.

Recognition of the lesbophobic nature of this aggression “was most important to me”, Jeanne reacted to AFP.

“The rape was fueled by that, he wanted to deny me as a lesbian, to punish me. At the first trial, I had been denied a second time by justice, society, in my identity, that was the hardest part “, she explained.

“There, the jurors said he was not allowed to do this to me for who I am. It will help me a lot in the repair.”, added the petite young woman, deeply hurt by this assault “of incredible violence”, in the words of the Advocate General.

The sentence pronounced on appeal is slightly lower because of the confession of the accused on the rape and violence: Jeanne, whose whole body presented “very many wounds and bruises”, notably had a perforated eardrum.

But the accused persisted in asserting “have no problem “ with his homosexuality. “He was out of time, stuffed with cocaine and alcohol, he did not know what he was doing”, said his lawyer, Paul de Bomy., after the verdict.

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