Surgeon Joel Le Scouarnec charged with 250 sex assaults in France’s biggest paedophilia case
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 19, ARMENPRESS. Retired French surgeon Joel Le Scouarnec is charged with 250 sex assaults. The 68-year-old is facing 20 years in prison if found guilty in what is shaping up as France’s biggest paedophilia case. Initially prosecutors believed that the surgeon sexually assaulted 4 minor girls, but the number of the victims is growing. On November 18th authorities said they have identified 250 potential victims of Scouarnec, and 184 are ready to testify.
More than 150 sexual assaults committed by the suspect took place from 1991 to 2014 when the surgeon was practicing in north-western France.
The first accusation dates to early 2017, when the parents of a six-year-old girl living in his neighborhood accused him of raping her.
Le Scouarnec is also accused of raping a young relative, sexually assaulting another young relative and abusing a young patient.
Detectives had launched another investigation after the initial charges, and discovered secret diaries in which the suspect describes sex scenes involving numerous other children.
Moreover, the children’s names were written in the diaries, which allowed police to track down the victims and obtain testimonies.
"250 potential victims of acts of pedophilia that do not fall under the statute of limitations were identified during the (second) investigation," the public prosecutor in the city of La Rochelle, Laurent Zuchowicz said on Monday, according to NDTV.
Le Scouarnec's lawyers have insisted that the journal entries were pure "fantasies”, but 184 people (181 of whom were minors at the time of the alleged assaults) have filed formal complaints.
The latest allegations raise the prospect of Le Scouarnec, who was given a four-month suspended jail sentence in 2005 after being found in possession of child pornography, being at the centre of France's biggest-ever paedophilia trial.
Apart from the diaries, the latest investigation also uncovered more images of child pornography and sex toys at Le Scouarnec's home.
He will go on trial in March.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan