The incident described in the following article occurred on a train after it left the station in the Swiss city of Lausanne. It bears some similarity to the report about the Ravensburg rapist we posted a few days ago. And, as in the Ravensburg case, the perpetrator is apparently going to receive a light sentence, judged by American standards — anything longer than six years is considered “serious” and “rare”.
[I hate to bring up the dark, ignorant, atavistic practices of my childhood, but I can remember when the law in many states allowed judges to sentence convicted rapists to the chair — and they sometimes did.]
Many thanks to Ava Lon for translating this article from 24 heures:
Moroccan tried for the rape of a teen in a regional train
Justice. Faced with the Lausanne Court on Thursday, the accused claimed that the student consented. But the evidence for an extremely violent crime is important.
February 9, 2017
[picture caption: The trial started Thursday morning at the District Court of Lausanne.]
He starts by multiplying the versions of his date of birth and even his name. He promises, he swears, that he is innocent of the rape of which he is accused. Still, he admits to being a thief of wallets and telephones, because the money paid to him by the state as an asylum seeker is not enough to eat and buy his daily dose of cannabis. The picture is not brilliant, but it does not yet make this young illiterate, brilliantly mastering the whimpering look, a rapist. At the Tribunal, prejudice must be swept aside to leave room for the facts.
And on Thursday, the facts for which this Moroccan of 19 years, 20 years or 22 years, was sent before the District Court of Lausanne were very serious. So much so that the court decided to convene a criminal court of five judges on the possibility that there might be a sentence that would exceed six years in prison. Rare for rape.
The alleged victim is not present at the trial. “Too hard,” explains her mother, also devastated. Her daughter, this student described as brilliant, creative and funny, is now nothing more than the shadow of herself. She sank into depression, stopped her studies, isolated herself, and no longer eats. Because on June 22, 2016, she lost everything. Her innocence, her virginity too.
According to the prosecution, the accused had spotted the girl at the station in Lausanne, just before 8 pm. He approaches her, she leaves, he follows her. On the platform he steals a kiss. The girl drank a few glasses. She doesn’t push him away. But she leaves. The regional train from Lausanne to Vallorbe would then become the transport of horror for the teenager. The defendant is accused of taking the girl to the toilet. He allegedly locked the door, pinning her to the floor before raping her savagely. Thirty-five minutes of hell where attempts of defense of the alleged victim were to be futile. A passenger who knocked at the door allegedly put an end to the ordeal.
Lies, said the accused on Thursday morning. He did not have sex with this girl. The Chair reminded him of the evidence. DNA, bruises on the teen’s knees, bruises, scratches, marks on both sides of the throat, and tears in several intimate parts of the girl. She must have done it herself, the defendant dares to assert. Faced with the evidence, he retracts: “It was she who wanted this relationship. She never showed me that it was against her will.” The accused bursts into tears. Real ones, this time. The sign of a confession, the weight of remorse, shame? Not really. “It’s unfair to me, I’m innocent. But if she didn’t like it, I ask for forgiveness,” he explains.
Two versions of a story. As often happens in these cases. For the prosecution, the facts are clear and the evidence implacable. “He trapped her and imposed bestial sex on her,” Prosecutor Donovan Tesaury said in his indictment. To a kiss him on the train platform, as she explained it, she just didn’t react.
However, the defense sees that as an invitation. Véronique Fontana Esq., pleading for acquittal, evokes shadowy areas. Why didn’t the victim shout when there were other passengers? There are also stills from video surveillance of the train, where they are seen coming out of the toilet and sitting side by side. He kisses her, she doesn’t move.
“The images especially show that when the accused leaves the train, the victim collapses”
The sign of a defense mechanism, support the prosecution and the lawyer for the victim, Coralie Devaud Esq. “The images especially show that when the defendant leaves the train, the victim collapses,” recalls the prosecutor.
The next morning the girl went to the CHUV [University Hospital of the Vaud Canton] emergency room. Why would she have chosen to suffer from cumbersome auditions, gynecological examinations, preventive triple therapy? Why would a teenager want her first time to happen with a stranger in a violent and sordid way, only to sink into depression ever since?
Without a defense case, the prosecution requested a 6-year prison sentence. The Tribunal renders its verdict on Friday.