The basics After more than three days of trial in the Haute-Garonne Criminal Court in Toulouse, the four young men were sentenced to a closed prison for rape in the parking lot of a nightclub in the suburbs of Toulouse. Between 7 and 10 years in prison were pronounced.
Four exhausting, intense and painful days. Yesterday, the Haute-Garonne Criminal Court signed the epilogue of the trial of four men tried in September 2018 in the parking lot of a nightclub in the suburbs of Toulouse for the rape of a young woman. Pushed, insulted, abused and raped, the victim’s ordeal was filmed. The images were then widely shared on social networks.
Adil Maache, 27, was sentenced to ten years in prison for the rape. If the ax falls, he blames the blow, but remains silent. Directly in front of him, on the civil party’s bench, is the victim, clad in a hoodie and denim jacket, folded on top of himself. She stares at the floor, trying not to meet the eyes of her attackers. “It is a heavy punishment, but one that my client accepts,” said Caroline Marty-Daudibertières, Adil Maache’s lawyer, at the end of this judgment, without extending it.
“Balanced sentences” for the defense
The two youngest defendants, Zeghloul Ouadah, 24 and Mohamed El-Hady, 21, are both sentenced to nine years in prison. “There is no doubt about your guilt,” said President Noël Picco before pronouncing the verdict. Hands crossed in front of him, ebony hair tied in a ponytail, the defendant, defended by Paris criminal defense attorneys Me Joseph Cohen-Sabban and Me Jean-Yves Gougnaud, repairs the judges without moving. “The debates have been respectful, the penalties are balanced and our client has taken note of his convictions,” said the figure of the Paris Bar Association defending Zeghloul Ouadah, before leaving the building.
For me, Robin Senié-Delon defends Mohamed El-Hady, the youngest of the quartet, curly hair, dark shirt, round gold glasses at the end of his nose, raises his eyebrows and shakes at the moment of uttering his sentence. “We took your youth into account, but you did not benefit from the court’s indulgence for your conduct,” said the president.
Marie-Ange Cochard’s 28-year-old client Mafhoud Nafi is sentenced to seven years in prison. A less heavy sentence than the others, especially because of “less implication and a sincere and deep awareness of the gravity of the facts,” the president notes. “He was in this position from the start and accepted his judgment,” confirms his lawyer.
Only a few minutes after these verdicts were pronounced, the victim hurried to leave the court. Her eyes are red with tears. “She is devastated, these four days have been very painful,” notes her lawyer Me Ravyn Issa. One day, one year, ten years, no prison sentence will be able to repair what has been done. Maybe that will allow him to move on. She became weakened, scared, and left a little relieved. She is a strong woman, she has faced her tormentors, you must not bow your head in front of your attackers, that is the message she wants to convey. “