France: Sudanese migrant sentenced for sexual assault of two schoolgirls aged 12 and 13

By John Cody
3 Min Read

A Sudanese migrant who was previously known to police has now been sentenced for his sexual assault of two schoolgirls, aged 12 and 13, on a tram in the French city of Strasbourg.

Around 5 p.m. last Friday, the two victims boarded a tram to take them home from school. The perpetrator, Ismail Noor Hamad, was seated directly across from them and kept staring at them for a long period of time, particularly at their chests, according to the two girls.

Hamad then approached one of the two children and began rubbing his thigh against her and grabbing her crotch. When the girl attempted to rip his hand away, he then turned to her friend and groped her. The two girls fled to the driver’s cabin, according to the French newspaper 20 Minutes.

The driver acted quickly, locking the doors for the entire tram until the police could arrive and arrest the perpetrator. The Sudanese migrant was already known to police for a similar sexual assault in the past year, yet he had not been deported and remained on the street.

The migrant was apparently more than willing to talk with police following his arrest, saying, “I was wrong… that’s how it is.” He is currently in an “irregular” situation in France and struggled to give his exact age to police.

The public prosecutor said the perpetrator’s nonchalance about the sexual assault is all the more “worrying” considering a “psychiatric expert who examined him did not find that he had psychological problems.”

“Already known” to the police for touching committed in the same circumstances last year, Hamad was sentenced on Monday to “seven months in prison” with continued detention.

At the end of his sentence, he will be banned from French territory for only five years, despite having two cases of sexual assault on his record within a year. His name has been entered in the file of perpetrators of sexual offenses.

The incident is emblematic of France’s lax immigration enforcement under President Emmanuel Macron, which his rival presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has promised to fix if she is elected with a referendum on immigration.

The city of Strasbourg has also seen high-profile incidents involving violence against women in the past, including a woman who was punched in the face for “wearing a skirt” in 2020. The case sparked a nationwide debate, with some pointing to immigrant communities as one of the main drivers of violence against women, especially those who dress in a way deemed inappropriate by some migrants from North African and Middle Eastern countries.

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