Saintes, March 13, 2020. The trial of Joël Le Scouarnec was interrupted due to the coronavirus epidemic.
GEORGES GOBET / AFP
After a first interruption in March due to the coronavirus, the trial of Joël Le Scouarnec for “rape of minors” is to resume, this Monday, in Saintes, before the Charente-Maritime Assize Court.
The surgeon is accused of assaulting more than 300 children in 28 years.
Most of the files are still at the investigation stage, Monday's trial only concerns four alleged victims.
While he remained "distant and detached" during the investigation, the victims hope that Joël Le Scouarnec will finally confess.
"Until nausea ..." Even Stéphane Kellenberger, the public prosecutor of Lorient (Morbihan), could not refrain from expressing his disgust at the count of the facts alleged today against Joël Le Scouarnec and on which his services had to investigate.
After a first hearing interrupted in March due to the coronavirus epidemic, the trial of this former surgeon for "rape of minors" is to resume this Monday before the Assize Court of Saintes (Charente-Maritime).
#Jonzac #LeScouarnec: Small video of the courtroom (empty) pic.twitter.com/7X5ptmslSS
- Vincent Vantighem (@vvantighem) March 13, 2020
Originally, the media nicknamed him the “Jonzac surgeon” from the name of this small town where he practiced.
Where he is suspected of raping young patients.
And then the investigation established that he had also worked in Loches (Indre-et-Loire), Vannes (Morbihan), Quimperlé (Finistère) ... And that the list of his victims could be much longer than the we imagined then ...
Because the surgeon kept a very precise computer account of all the children whom he saw in the hospitals and whom he is accused of having attacked, for some during the phase of awakening.
In mid-October, Stéphane Kellenberger therefore indicated that he had identified 312 for which the facts are not prescribed: 164 boys and 148 girls whose average age, at the time of the facts, was only 11 years old.
"One hundred and seven facts are likely to receive a criminal qualification of aggravated rape", he summarized.
His nieces tried to denounce the facts
Most of these cases are still under investigation and will be the subject of another trial.
This Monday, Joël Le Scouarnec will have to respond to accusations emanating from only four people.
Lucie *, his neighbor who allowed his arrest in 2017, a patient he allegedly abused during an operation for acute pancreatitis when she was only four years old and her two nieces.
Today in their thirties, the latter are undoubtedly the best able to explain how their uncle was able to cross the decades and the departments without ever being worried or almost, while the accusations against him relate to a period ranging from 1986 to 2014 . “My clients have tried to denounce the facts they suffered between 2 and 9 years to their relatives.
But we told them: "It does not matter ..." ", explained in March Delphine Driguez, the lawyer for the two nieces.
A family where incest is practiced "from father to son"
Joël Le Scouarnec indeed seems to have taken advantage of the omerta that reigned in this family where incest was practiced from "father to son", according to a source familiar with the matter.
And which today leads to remorse.
In March before the trial was interrupted, the surgeon's sister, cited as a witness, had confided in tears her feeling of guilt towards her daughters and "all the victims", according to a lawyer present.
Her brother had then taken it over: "You are not responsible, it's me ..."
Will he be able to say more from this Monday?
"It is time for him to confess so that the victims can rebuild themselves", claims Francesca Satta, the lawyer for Lucie's parents *.
It is not taken for granted.
During the investigation, the surgeon was "rather distant and detached (...) taking refuge in an alleged absence of memories ...", indicates a source close to the investigation.
The Charente-Maritime Assize Court has until Thursday to get him to speak.
Now 70 years old, Joël Le Scouarnec faces a 20-year prison sentence.
As the Code of Criminal Procedure provides, this trial should take place behind closed doors.
* The first name has been changed
* The first name has been changed
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Joël Le Scouarnec