A former cadre of the National Front, a member of a traditional Catholic community, was sentenced Tuesday by the Criminal Court of Rouen to five years in prison for sexual assault on six minors. Incarcerated since last June, the man was also sentenced to a definitive ban on working with minors and to a socio-judicial follow-up for eight years.
"There are gestures and surprise, even constraint. The facts of sexual assault are perfectly characterized with regard to the six victims, "Stephanie Rabat, deputy prosecutor of the Republic, told the audience, also asking for a definitive ban on activities involving minors. "He fooled the families by playing on their faith and the values he claimed to share with these people," the magistrate continued in her requisitions.
Edouard Le Bourgeois, 38, had already been sentenced for similar offenses to ten months suspended by the court of Nanterre in 2010 and three years suspended by the court of Pontoise in 2013.
"Rubbing children sitting on their knees until they have an erection"
According to the judicial investigation opened in June 2018 following a report made by the diocese of Rouen, the alleged sexual assault occurred between 2013 and 2018, against adolescents aged 12 to 14 years at the time of the facts. The defendant and his victims had met in the community of the Institute of Christ King Sovereign Priest, installed in the church of Saint-Patrice, in Rouen. Six young men accuse their former private teacher of French "taps" on the buttocks "of his students or" rubbed the children sitting on his knees to get an erection, "in the words of Catherine Héron , president of the court.
The accused acknowledged the facts for three of the alleged victims but denied them for the other three. "I apologize to the families," he said at the hearing. Questioned by the public prosecutor's office, he also confessed, after having burst into tears, to have himself been raped "by the college chaplain". "It does not erase the substance of the case," said Agathe Fremy Barret, lawyer for four of the six victims. "The acts committed against three of the six minors had no sexual connotation," argued for his part Mathilde Sanson, the defendant's lawyer.
Édouard Le Bourgeois was the FN candidate for the 2008 Cantonals in Versailles, then national director of the group "Les Jeunes avec Gollnisch", a movement launched within the National Front at the time of the 2010 internal campaign to organize the succession of Jean -Marie Le Pen. That same year, he had been excluded from the party following sharp remarks against David Rachline, close to Marine Le Pen and FN mayor of Frejus.