The French police this week arrested 44 people in the south-east of France suspected of having participated in the repeated rapes of a woman, whom her husband drugged for a whole decade to render her unconscious and then offer her on the internet as a sexual object to strangers. The husband recorded and sometimes even participated in the rapes. The victim, a 60-year-old, was not even aware of the abuse suffered until the police arrested her husband after an operation that lasted a year.
The Avignon Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed French media the arrest of 44 people, as one of the suspects of having participated in the abuses, which lasted between 2010 and 2020, has passed away. Of those arrested, 33 have already been charged and placed in preventive detention, including the husband, a retired craftsman from 68 years he had been married to the victim 50 years and with whom he has had three children. “It is not usual to have so much evidence in a rape case,” Avignon Judicial Police Commissioner Jérémie Bosse Platière told the France Presse agency. “Here, everything is proven, even if the victim, unconscious during the rapes, does not remember anything,” he added.
What threatens to become one of the most sinister rape cases in recent French history was discovered almost by chance. In September 2020, the husband, whose identity has not been disclosed, was arrested in a shop when a security guard discovered that he was filming women under the skirt. When the police seized the man’s computer at his home, in the town of Mazan, they discovered the videos showing his wife, Marie, unconscious, so asleep that “at times she seemed about to snore,” the newspaper highlights 20 Minutes , while she was raped by men that the husband had previously contacted online.
“The husband used strong anxiolytics to drug his wife, he put her naked in bed and heated the room to prevent her from waking up”, explained Commissioner Bosse Platière. “Clients would sneak in, whisper, and if the victim moved just one arm, they would leave. None of the authors could ignore what was happening ”, he maintains.
The detainees are men from between 24 and 71 years and among them there is a firefighter, a journalist, a prison guard or a nurse, among others, according to the newspaper Var-Matin . Some are single, others married and even parents.
For the lawyer From the victim, Caty Richard, this case shows how widespread this type of crime is. “People think chemical submission is the nightclub drink that someone throws GHB into. ”, Said in statements to the digital medium Brut . “But chemical submission affects absolutely all socio-professional media, all social media in general,” he warned. relationship of this with his victim, his wife for half a century. “Marie is a woman like me or like you, she met her husband in 1970, they had several children, they worked and then they retired. They had an absolutely normal life, “said the lawyer.
Until everything changed the day the victim returned from a visit to her children, who live on the outskirts of Paris, She was contacted on November 2, 2020, by the police. Her husband had been called to retrieve his mobile phone. It is at that moment, the lawyer points out, when Marie, as she calls her client, is informed that her husband had been drugging her for a decade and handing her over to other men while she was almost unconscious.
According to prescriptions for sleeping pills recovered by the police, the victim would have been drugged up to 225 times in a single year. According to the newspaper Le Midi , after initially denying the facts, the husband ended up confessing and would have declared that in total, between 30 and 50 men abused his wife during the decade he drugged her . According to attorney Richard, sometimes the husband himself participated in the rape. The victim, whose “life has totally collapsed”, was never aware of what her husband was doing with her. “It never occurred to him that something like this could happen to him,” said Richard, according to which “to know that something like this can happen, you have to know that this exists, hence the importance of talking about this chemical submission,” he insisted.