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the Besançon public prosecutor’s office launches a call for witnesses

All three brothers had wives who were childminders and host families in communities around Besançon. Several people who were placed with them as children accuse them of rape and sexual assault. The prosecution calls on anyone who may have been a victim to report to the gendarmerie.

The Besançon public prosecutor’s office invites possible victims of sexual assault and rape committed by three brothers now in their seventies living in the region to file a complaint with the gendarmerie, public prosecutor Étienne Manteaux announced on Friday.

“The common point of this case concerns a family of three brothers prosecuted for sexual abuse committed serially since the 1970s and whose wives were childminders and host families in communities around Besançon,” specified the magistrate during a press conference.

A call for witnesses for “the manifestation of the truth”

“I call on anyone who may have been a victim of acts of this nature to contact the Besançon-Tarragnoz gendarmerie brigade, to be heard by the investigators,” declared Étienne Manteaux.

“This freedom of speech is very painful, but it is powerfully liberating when you are heard. It is also important for the manifestation of the truth,” he added.

If the facts are prescribed, these people “will not be able to seek compensation from the courts, but it is possible to call them as witnesses during a trial,” said the prosecutor. The limitation period designates the period beyond which a legal action is no longer admissible. It varies depending on the offense committed and the age of the victim at the time of the offense.

A condemned brother

The affair started with the younger brother, 76 years old, whose wife was a childminder. He is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for sexual violence committed against six women who had been kept in this family during their childhood.

The older brother, also the husband of a childminder near Besançon, was the subject of eight complaints for acts of sexual violence committed in the 1970s and 80s. Aged 78, he tried to put an end to his days upon learning that an investigation was directed against him, before confessing everything. But here, all the facts are prescribed, said the prosecutor.

Judicial investigation opened concerning third brother

Finally, a judicial investigation was opened in a third investigation concerning the youngest of the siblings, also in his seventies, for acts of sexual violence. His wife was also a childminder and they took in children placed in their home.

“Placed in foster care from the age of 18 months until the age of 18, the victim born in 1982 declared having suffered sexual violence and even rape at the age of 13 with digital penetration,” said the prosecutor. . “The accused admitted the sexual assaults (prescribed facts) but not the penetrative rape, which is not prescribed to him,” he added.

Étienne Manteaux paid tribute to the “pugnacity” of an investigator from the Besançon-Tarragnoz gendarmerie brigade, who “wanted to get to the bottom of things” and made it possible to reveal the different ramifications of this affair.

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