Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

French girl saves herself, films father’s sex abuse

A girl, 14, in Florensac, France, was reportedly being sexually abused by her father over the course of many months, with no help from the system in sight. But not unlike film heroine The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the smart kid eventually put a stop to the abuse by filming it with her web cam.

Sadly, the girl revealed the sexual abuse to a counselor at her school in September 2013, but police did not have enough evidence get her out of the home while investigating the allegations. The child had to continue enduring the abuse presumably until her father’s arrested last Tuesday.

In the face of such stunning evidence, the defendant’s attorney Mathieu Montfort merely stated, “My client acknowledges the facts.” He added, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.”

Prosecutors are proceeding with caution,”We are afraid of the violence of this man who is downplaying the facts despite the video and who, moreover, explained that he took no pleasure from abusing his own daughter and that he was just messing around.”

Just to be on the safe side, the child has not been placed her with her mother, or with her family; she was instead placed in a woman’s shelter. A spokesperson for the prosecution explained that this is to protect the child from any dysfunctional family pressure to forgive and forget, “We have to avoid potential pressure from the family of this child who was abused and filmed.”

Also, it seems that the mother may have been abused by the girl’s father as well. Before placing the girl in the mother’s custody, police want to ensure that the child’s mother was truly unaware of the abuse against her daughter.

On the plus side, in France the defendant is guilty until proven innocent, so it is unlikely that the girl’s abuser will be able to weasel out of a conviction.

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