As part of an investigation for rape and sexual assault on minors, Joël Le Scouarnec was taken into custody in Lorient on Tuesday.

Since the outbreak of the "Le Scouarnec affair", more than 300 potential victims have been heard for facts spanning nearly thirty years.

Surgeon Joël Le Scouarnec has been in police custody since Tuesday "to be auditioned as a defendant" for rape and sexual assault on minors under 15, announced the Lorient prosecutor Stéphane Kellenberger.

Joël Le Scouarnec was extracted Tuesday from the Saintes remand center, said the prosecutor where he is being held awaiting trial for other facts by the Charente-Maritime assize court from November 30.

His custody in Lorient, for acts of rape and sexual assault on minors under the age of 15 by a person abusing the authority of his position, was extended by 24 hours.


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349 potential victims

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.

During the investigations, entrusted 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 statement 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.

These facts, which he partially acknowledges, extend from 1989 to 2017. During this period, the surgeon worked in Touraine, Loches in Indre-et-Loire, Brittany, Vannes and Lorient in Morbihan and in Charente-Maritime, at the Jonzac hospital.

In 2017, investigators discovered mysterious notebooks with children's names at his home.