Sarah case: the accused appeals his conviction, a request for release filed by his lawyer

Sentenced to eight years in prison for the rape of an 11-year-old girl, the accused in the Sarah case decided to appeal.

The trial of the “Sarah case”, which had initiated the debate on the non-consent of minors, resulted on Friday in the conviction of a 33-year-old man to eight years in prison for the rape of an 11-year-old child. year. According to our information, the person concerned appealed against this conviction on Sunday November 6 and his lawyer filed a request for release.

As a reminder, the Sarah case dates back to 2017. At the time, an 11-year-old girl accused a then 28-year-old man of raping her. This father of a 9-year-old child had already approached her several times when, on April 27 of that year, he invited her to follow him to his apartment building.

A threshold of non-consent at 15 years

After asking him to perform oral sex in the stairwell, the man led the child to his apartment, where they had sex. Initially, the accused had been prosecuted for sexual assault and not for rape because Sarah had been deemed consenting by the prosecution.

A decision which had provoked general indignation, and in particular that of child protection associations. The trial was finally adjourned to allow the opening of an investigation. This led the magistrates to retain moral constraint and surprise, justifying the dismissal of the accused for rape before the criminal court of Val d’Oise in November 2022.

Before that, the Sarah case had given rise to the law of April 2021, setting a threshold of non-consent at 15 years. During his trial for rape, however, the accused was tried according to the legal framework in force at the time of the events, the criminal law not being retroactive. He was found guilty, the court having found “that the sexual acts were committed by moral constraint and by surprise”.

During his deliberations on Friday, the president of the court affirmed that the accused “abused the vulnerability” of the victim “to achieve the immediate satisfaction of (his) desires and (his) sexual excitement” and did not could ignore the child’s age. Despite her physical appearance, “her real age is very quickly noticeable when you talk to her”.

Just after the verdict, the defense lawyer, Dylan Slama, had already indicated that he was thinking “of a possible appeal”. He then felt that the sentence of eight years in prison, close to the ten years required, was “hard[e] to hear”.

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