Europe 1 with AFP 16:54 p.m., November 07, 2023

Franck Lavier, one of those acquitted in Outreau, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended on Tuesday by the criminal court of Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) for sexually assaulting his daughter, when she was a minor.

Finding him guilty of touching his daughter's breasts, the court sentenced him to 6 months' imprisonment with a simple suspended sentence, a decision in line with the requisitions at the trial on 22 September, the prosecutor's office said. This was the only fact retained by the prosecution, as the young woman had withdrawn most of her accusations in the middle of the hearing, a dramatic turn of events seven years after she had declared herself a victim of sexual assault by her father.

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The sentence was accompanied by an entry in the Fijais (Automated Judicial Register of Sexual or Violent Offenders). Franck Lavier, who was not present at Tuesday's hearing, has 10 days to appeal.

"I have nothing to reproach myself with"

His daughter, who accused him in 2016 when she was 16, had claimed at trial that she had lied for so long for fear of "consequences for making false statements". Regarding the touching of the breasts, the young woman, a 24-year-old mother of four, considered at the trial that it was "a game, by the way, 'toot toot'", but which made her uncomfortable.

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"I have nothing to reproach myself with," Franck Lavier, 45, said at the hearing before his daughter's retractions. His lawyer Fabienne Roy-Nansion deplored the fact that the court considers "that the +toot toot truck+ (touching on the breasts) is a sexual assault by nature". According to her, the court considered that if Franck Lavier "did not have the will to commit" this sexual assault, which he considered "a game", he could not "ignore its reprehensible nature".

Franck and Sandrine Lavier, divorced but living together, are among the accused in Outreau. He was sentenced in 2004 to six years in prison for the rape of his stepdaughter by the Pas-de-Calais Assize Court, then acquitted the following year by the Paris Court of Appeal. He spent a total of 36 months in prison. The Outreau child rape case ended in a judicial fiasco. After two trials at the Assizes in 2004 and 2005, 13 of the 17 defendants were acquitted after long periods of imprisonment.