Le Scouarnec case: The former surgeon appeals against his conviction (Archives) -
Tried before the Assize Court of Charente-Maritime, in Saintes, he was sentenced a week ago to 15 years of criminal imprisonment.
Former surgeon Joël Le Scouarnec appealed this Friday against his conviction in a first case of rape and sexual assault on four minor victims.
A decision which "revolted" the civil parties, after unexpected confessions during the trial behind closed doors.
After having escaped the nets of justice for thirty years, the former surgeon and alleged pedophile was found guilty of sexual assault on one of his nieces and a young patient in the 90s, as well as acts of rape (penetrations digitales) on another niece, at the same period and on her neighbor in Jonzac (Charente-Maritime), the girl who had denounced him in 2017.
Le Scouarnec "wishes to give itself time"
His defense explained that the law left him only ten days, since the verdict on December 3, to appeal, a "relatively short" deadline.
"Mr. Le Scouarnec wishes to give himself time, and not to deprive himself of his right to be tried by the Assize Court of Appeal," said his lawyer Thibaut Kurzawa in a statement to AFP.
The Saintes prosecution therefore announced that the former surgeon had appealed Friday against his 15-year sentence, in accordance with the requisitions of the Advocate General, while he risked a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment.
He admits having raped his two nieces
At his trial, the 70-year-old man, confronted with his victims, admitted to having raped his two nieces, while the court was seized of these facts only for one of them.
Until then, he had always denied any rape.
On the other hand, he persisted in denying the rape of his neighbor, then aged 6, and not remembering it.
For the lawyer, “his position remains unchanged today”.
And to assure: "His intention is not to question what he was able to say during the hearing.
If he challenged certain acts, he recognized the vast majority, ”he said.
Unless he withdraws, Joël Le Scouarnec will therefore have to be retried before an assize court of appeal, a prospect felt as a new "ordeal" to "relive" for the four victims of the trial.
"My clients wanted to turn the page"
"My clients are outraged by this decision even if it is a right", reacted Me Francesca Satta, lawyer for Jonzac's daughter and her parents.
A decision which is for her "without surprise considering the fact that he denied loud and clear his involvement in the facts suffered" by the girl.
"It's a shock (...) an ordeal that continues (...) my clients are collapsed", also commented Me Delphine Driguez, lawyer for the two nieces.
“They wanted to turn the page… it's very hard for them to confront again” Joël Le Scouarnec.
At his trial, he had also admitted acts of penetration on three victims, including another niece and a former neighbor in the mid-1980s, but these facts had been excluded from the investigation because of the statute of limitations.
"They are now slaughtered," said Me Nathalie Bucquet, lawyer of the civil party association Innocence in danger, which brought the voice of these two women to the trial.
"It is a very hard blow for the civil parties, there is a fear that his confession will be called into question."
Prosecuted for sexual abuse of hundreds of children
Like Me Driguez, Me Bucquet wonders about the "legal interest" of this appeal while the former surgeon detained at the Saintes remand center is also being prosecuted for sexual abuse in another investigation, of an unparalleled scale, involving hundreds of children.
It is the complaint of the young girl of Jonzac which had allowed to bring to light this gigantic case of pedophilia guided by the chilling writings of the surgeon found at his home in 2017.
Since October, he has been indicted in Lorient (Morbihan) for acts of rape and sexual assault on 312 potential victims identified in the light of his “notebooks”, relating sexual abuse over a period of 30 years.
Le Scouarnec affair: The surgeon back to the assizes to answer for "rape of minors"
Le Scouarnec case: The surgeon indicted for rape and sexual assault on 312 victims
Joël Le Scouarnec