By Oisin Sweeney • 04 December 2020 • 10:50
FRANCE’s biggest ever pedophilia case has concluded with a 15-year prison sentence for a retired surgeon who abused hundreds of victims over three decades.
Joel Le Scournec, a 70-year-old retired surgeon, remained impassive as he was jailed for the rape and abuse of four children. He was reported in 2017 for abusing his neighbour’s six-year-old daughter, and investigations soon received testimonies from three other victims. These included his two nieces, who he abused between 1989 and 1999, and a four-year-old patient he assaulted in 1993.
When detectives searched his home in Saintes, Western France, they discovered 300,000 indecent images documenting the abuse of 312 children starting in the mid-1980s. Many of his victims were patients at hospitals where he worked in western and central France. Judge Isabella Fauchaux said that the lengthy sentence was due to the severity of his crimes, and his return to offending after a 2005 child pornography conviction.
Scournec told the court that he does not ‘ask for forgiveness or compassion, only the right to become a better man again’. His lawyer said that the father of three ‘knows what he did is unforgiveable’. Francesca Setta, a lawyer for one of the victims, said ‘we are very satisfied, it’s a fair sentence’.
The four victims who saw their cases go to trial embraced after the sentence was read to the court, with the lawyer for Scournec’s nieces saying his admission of guilt ‘did them a lot of good’.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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