News

Teens guilty of streaming attack on girl

By AFP

February 14, 2024 07:56 PM


A French court convicted five adolescents for their role in a violent assault on a teenage girl which they streamed on social media in January.

The teenagers, aged 15 to 16, were charged with group violence, making death threats and filming and distributing pornographic images of minors via social media networks.

The court found late Tuesday that the perpetrators in the northern port city of Le Havre streamed the attack on social media, showing the victim partially nude.

The Le Havre court found all five teens guilty in a closed hearing that lasted nearly 10 hours. "The group nature of the attack made the violence more extreme and was the driving force behind the attack," Elisa Haussetete, the lawyer for one of the defendants, told AFP.

"All five have expressed sincere regret", she said, adding that there will be no appeal. Sentencing will take place at hearings scheduled in September.  Four of the attackers are under judicial supervision and cannot leave the Seine-Maritime region, while the fifth remains in a closed educational centre. They are all forbidden from contacting the victim or her family.

Some of the teens had already been accused of hitting another 14-year-old girl the day before the attack. That case will be heard at a later date. Former French prime minister Elisabeth Borne announced a plan in September 2023 to tackle bullying in school –- which affects one in 10 students in France according to the government -- after a series of suicides by schoolchildren who were harassed online.

 As part of the plan, then-education minister Gabriel Attal, who succeeded Borne as premier earlier this year, declared that the fight against school harassment was an "absolute priority".

But complaints are rare: only six per cent of victims of online attacks report the incident to the authorities, according to a 2022 report from the French interior ministry.

 


AFP


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