The father of the 6-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 16-year-old “unaccompanied” Guinean migrant in the French city of Roanne is now under investigation for violence against the alleged assailant. If charged, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
The 16-year-old migrant is suspected of entering the family home on Friday and proceeding to sexually assault a six-year-old child. The mother was alerted to the migrant teenager’s presence due to moaning and other noises the mother heard coming from their 6-year-old daughter’s room. The mother, who was feeding the family’s baby at the time, opened the door and saw the teenager molesting their daughter, at which point the mother began screaming. The migrant then fled the house. It is unclear how he entered the room, whether through a window or by other means.
The next night, the father apparently went looking for the suspect along with other individuals involved in a neighborhood patrol. The mother was with them and identified the suspect from the previous night. The father reportedly kicked and punched the migrant with the help of three other men, according to a report from French news outlet BFMTV, which cited judicial sources. The father is also accused whipping the suspect with an electrical cord and then beating him with an iron bar.
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“I beat him up,” admitted the father on BFMTV, saying he was “in an altered state of mind” at the time of the events. “I should not have done it, but I do not regret it in any case. (…) Fortunately, there were my friends (to stop me), and I was lucid enough to call the police; otherwise it is possible that I would have gone further.”
“Once my wife formally recognized him (…) I couldn’t see anything anymore, I wasn’t even listening to my wife. (…) I said ‘it’s him’, he tried to run away, I caught him.”
The teenager is in custody and being charged for the sexual assault, but police are also investigating “aggravated violence committed with a purposeful weapon” against the father. For this alleged crime, the father faces three to 10 years in prison depending on the number of charges and how the judge might decide the case. At the moment, no charges have been filed, but the investigation is ongoing.
Migrant was only in France for two weeks
The migrant was reportedly in France for only two weeks before he tried to rape the little girl. He was housed in a migrant center that was installed close to the house where the incident occurred.
The father says that others would have done what he did.
“Anybody would have done the same thing I did. Of course, I shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t regret having done it,” says the man who is now considered a suspect.
“My wife and daughter do not sleep anymore.”
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The father says he doubted the ability of the police to find the attacker after filing a complaint: “The same evening, there were no rounds, and no police patrols passed, there was nothing. I could feel that the person was not very far away, he disappeared too quickly. In fact, he lived not very far from me: opposite, 100 meters, not even that.”
The father in the case is not the only one who said he would have reacted with violence.
However, Pradié said he is a politician and must also urge restraint despite the challenges faced by the French citizenry.
“I can’t give in to the ease of saying to my fellow citizens: Tomorrow, the Republic fades away, justice fades away, the police fade away, and it’s each of you who will exact justice yourselves,” he stated.
As crime skyrockets in France in tandem with mass migration, French citizens are increasingly taking the law into their own hands, and sometimes suffering the consequences. For example, it was just last month when a French man in his 60s tried to intervene when he spotted two men robbing his neighbor’s house in the French town of Pornic. One of the men, a 20-year-old illegal migrant from Brazil, then stabbed the elderly man to death when he tried to stop them from robbing the house; the second suspect remains on the run.
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Other crimes targeting young people have made international headlines as of late, with the case of 12-year-old Lola, who was raped, tortured, and murdered by an Algerian illegal migrant, sparking a national debate around migration and the left-wing French government’s failure to deport criminals.
“I don’t regret it”
The father in the case says he realizes he faces serious consequences due to the ongoing investigation, but he is not backing down out of love for his family.
“It is now me who finds himself accused; the world is upside down,” he reacted. “But I don’t regret it, I could get 30 years; it’s not serious, it’s for my daughter.”
He said that his wife and daughter “do not sleep anymore” and that he has moved to his brother’s house. He is now waiting to move into an apartment that a friend is lending to him, all in an effort to get away from another potential attack.
The man is also getting support from his neighborhood.
“Anyone would have done the same thing, it’s legitimate what he did. With some of the reactions of other fathers, it could have been worse,” a neighbor told BFMTV.