The trial of surgeon Joël Le Scouarnec, accused of sexual assault on four minors, was postponed to November due to the coronavirus crisis.
Francois Mori / AP / SIPA
Detained at the Saintes remand center in Charente-Maritime pending his trial which is to be held from November 30, Joël Le Scouarnec was taken from his cell on Tuesday.
The former surgeon was taken into custody "to be heard as a suspect" for rape and sexual assault on minors under 15, announced the Lorient public prosecutor Stéphane Kellenberger.
His custody was extended by 24 hours on Wednesday.
The Lorient public prosecutor's office has been seized of the Le Scouarnec case since November 2019 as part of the preliminary investigation, due to the location in Brittany of a majority of facts, at the time of their commission.
Nearly 350 potential victims
During the investigations, entrusted in co-referral to the research section of the gendarmerie of Poitiers and the departmental gendarmerie group of Morbihan, the investigators proceeded to "more than 300 hearings of victims, identifiable and identified", specifies in a press release Stéphane Kellenberger.
The prosecutor will hold a press conference on this case late Thursday afternoon in Lorient, he said.
In December 2019, the number of potential victims of Joël Le Scouarnec, suspected of rape and sexual assault on underage patients during nearly 30 years of career, amounted to 349, according to the former prosecutor of Lorient Laureline Peyrefitte.
Our file on the Le Scouarnec affair
These facts, which he partially acknowledges, date back to the end of the 1980s until 2017. During this period, the surgeon worked in Touraine, Loches (Indre-et-Loire), Vannes and Lorient (Morbihan) and in Charente-Maritime, at Jonzac hospital, place of his last home.
In 2017, investigators discovered mysterious notebooks with children's names at his home.
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Joël Le Scouarnec