The men who brutally beat a 21-year-old Frenchman named Lorenzo into a coma — leaving him paralyzed two years ago — are all enjoying their freedom while awaiting trial for the incident. The family has expressed outrage at the court’s decision to release the men almost immediately after the incident, with the mother calling for justice against the men who destroyed her family’s life.
“My son is a quadriplegic while his attackers are now free,” said Elise, Lorenzo’s mother, to the French newspaper Le Figaro. The family of Lorenzo sees the men enjoying life, clubbing, and at sporting events, and Elise says the pain eats away at her due to the lifelong suffering her son must now endure while her attackers enjoy their freedom.
Lorenzo and his friends were attacked on Aug. 24, 2020, in a parking lot in the southern French commune of Lattes after they attended a pool party with some other friends. Two of the attackers set their sights on Lorenzo, who was 19 at the time, brutally beating him to the point he was left in a coma for 16 days.
In this case, five people were indicted in criminal proceedings for intentional violence in an assault that resulted in permanent disability. Although the identity of the attackers remains unknown to the French public, all of them were placed under judicial supervision; three of them were initially imprisoned but then released just four days later following an interim release before the Court of Appeal, an extremely rare procedure.
This decision has haunted the family of Lorenzo for two years.
“We see them all the time; they go to nightclubs, to football matches! Judicial control is not respected at all, they live in peace while for us everything stopped on August 24, 2020. We reported it each time to the police services but nothing is happening!” said Elise and Lorenzo’s father-in-law. It is unclear what the terms of their judicial release are or whether they are violating it, however, the family still has not seen the men brought to trial two years after the incident.
“He can’t even eat, brush his teeth, go to the toilet,” his mother Élise said at the time. She and the young man’s stepfather had to stop working to take care of him, saying, “He has already had five lung infections and has almost died twice.”
Lorenzo, now 21, was released from the hospital after two years; he can now communicate that something “feels good” by sketching a thumb, which is the only manner he can speak with his family and friends.
“We had to take it all on. We had to sell our house, which we had finished paying for, because it was impossible to bring it up to standard for Lorenzo’s handicap,” says Elise. When they found a new house for five, they had to do six months of work, at their expense for the moment, and find another accommodation in the meantime, which did not accommodate Lorenzo’s situation.