Second French policeman faces 'baton rape' charge

2017-02-21 00:08
French riot police apprehend protesters during clashes at a demonstration against alleged police abuse in Paris. (Francois Mori, AP)

French riot police apprehend protesters during clashes at a demonstration against alleged police abuse in Paris. (Francois Mori, AP)

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Bobigny - A second French policeman should face trial for allegedly raping a man with his baton, a court ruled on Monday in a case that echoes another incident earlier this month.

The officer's actions left a 29-year-old man named Alexandre with injuries to his anus after he was forced into a police car after being stopped for alleged drunkenness by a night-time patrol in October 2015.

A judge in Bobigny on the outskirts of Paris said the officer, 33, should face charges.

The case has attracted fresh scrutiny following the violent arrest of a black youth worker called Theo in the same Seine-Saint-Denis area of Paris on February 2.

The latter arrest, which left the victim requiring surgery to his rectal area, has sparked sometimes violent protests and cast a spotlight on rough policing methods in France's crime-ridden suburbs.

Officially charged

One officer has been charged with raping Theo and three others with assault.

In the case heard in court on Monday, the judge ruled that the medical records of Alexandre were sufficient to justify upgrading the charges to rape, rather than assault which had been recommended by prosecutors.

"It's a decision that is fair and important and that we were waiting for," Alexandre's lawyer, Marie-Cecile Nathan, told reporters.

The defence and prosecution now have 10 days to appeal the judge's recommendation. If not, the officer will be officially charged and then prosecuted.

While in the police station after his arrest, Alexandre had complained of pain and alleged that an officer had forced his baton between his buttocks.

The officer told investigators that the injuries were inflicted accidentally during the struggle to force him into the police vehicle.

Read more on:    france
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