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  1. #1
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    France - Trial begins in alleged Outreau child sex ring

    Seventeen people have gone on trial in northern France on charges of gang raping 18 children, aged three to 12, over a period of five years.

    The six women and 11 men have also been charged with "rape with torture" and "rape with barbaric acts". Some of their own children were named as victims.

    The alleged incidents, which have shocked France, happened in Outreau, near the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    The case came to the attention of prosecutors in December 2000, when social services alerted them to the possible sexual abuse committed by an unemployed couple against their own four children, AFP news agency reported.

    The children, once they had been placed in foster care, told investigators they had been fondled, raped, coerced into performing sex acts and forced to watch pornographic films.

    Hundreds of witnesses are due to appear in court. The children named other individuals involved, some of them neighbours. Police seized sex toys and pornographic videos from the family apartment, where the illicit sex sessions allegedly took place.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3683255.stm

  2. #2
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    From July 2004:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3852673.stm

    A wide range of local people were implicated by the Delays, as well as by the other couple at the centre of the case, their next-door neighbour David Delplanque and his partner Aurelie Grenon, and the children involved.

    The Delays, Delplanque and Grenon had confessed to raping the Delay couple's four children in Outreau, northern France from 1995 until 2000, when social services raised the alarm.
    Those four actually were guilty, as it turns out, but the other 14 were victims of false accusations:

    From December 2005:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/02/in...ance.html?_r=0

    A French appeals court on Thursday overturned the conviction of six people accused of participating in a pedophilia ring in northern France five years ago, unraveling one of the most mismanaged criminal cases in recent memory and leaving the nation asking how the court system could have gone so awry...

    The case was based on wide-ranging accusations by a woman in the northern town of Outreau after children told a teacher they had been abused in her home. The six people had been convicted even though she recanted her allegations against them during the trial. Of the 18 people she had originally said were involved, 7 were acquitted following her recantation and one committed suicide in detention before the case went to trial...

    The case was marred by deep doubts from the beginning, said Yves Jannier, France's attorney general, speaking to the appeals court on Wednesday, a day before the ruling. He noted that an investigative report by the police in July 2002 found "more doubts than certainties" in the accusations, but said, "No one had enough critical sense to stop the machine."



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