The innocent face of a 20-year-old student. This is the portrait that will forever be etched in the memory following the tragic disappearance of Sophie Le Tan, this young woman who had the misfortune to cross paths with Jean-Marc Reiser. On September 7, 2018, the student went to Schiltigheim, in the suburbs of Strasbourg, to visit an apartment after an ad posted by a then 57-year-old man, Jean-Marc Reiser, on a classifieds site. According to one of his two lawyers, Me Pierre Giuriato, interviewed by France 3 on January 23, 2021, at the end of the visit, the 50-year-old allegedly tried to make advances “physical and not sexual” that the young woman would have refused. The man sees red: he kills the student and dismembers her in order to hide the remains in a forest a forty-minute drive away, where they would be found more than a year later. Throughout the investigation, Jean-Marc Reiser formally denies the facts. He eventually confess that he is responsible for the murder almost two and a half years after.
A hacksaw, shoes stained with blood: these elements that confused the suspect
On January 8, 2019, a legal expert, accompanied by investigators from the Strasbourg judicial police and commissioned by the investigating judge in charge of the case, went to the home of the main suspect, indicted and imprisoned for “kidnapping, sequestration and assassination“. His role ? “Carry out a morphological analysis of traces of blood and take samples from the cellar”. And his findings will considerably advance the investigation. Among the elements placed under seal, a hacksaw, on which we find the DNA of Sophie Le Tan. Among the other elements discovered, shoes or a washing machine cover stained with the student’s blood. However, the lawyers of the main suspect do not disassemble. The evidence may be overwhelming, but it is inadmissible, they say. Indeed, Me Francis Metzger and Me Pierre Giuriato denounce the absence of witnesses or of the suspect during the search of the home of Jean-Marc Reiser, contrary to the rights of the person under investigation, as explained by our colleagues from Parisian September 24, 2019. In June 2020, the Court of Cassation rejected Jean-Marc Reiser’s request, according to information from Latest News from Alsace. The evidence is overwhelming. And usable.
Jean-Marc Reiser: an endless judicial soap opera
In January 2021, the imprisoned man ends up confessing but challenges the premeditation of his actions. On July 5, 2022, the Bas-Rhin Assize Court sentenced him to life imprisonment, with a 22-year security period. The convict appeals: he still refuses to admit premeditation. A year later, on June 29, 2023, the Haut-Rhin Assize Court confirmed the decision taken a year earlier. However, the epic does not stop there. Jean-Marc Reiser appeals in cassation at the beginning of July 2023. But it is not only the found objects that overwhelm the now sixty-something: his judicial past is just as worrying. In 1997, during a routine customs check, weapons were found in Jean-Marc Reiser’s car, as well as narcotics and pornographic pictures of women “naked, asleep or dead”according to his lawyer at the time, Me Eric Braun, questioned by The Parisian in 2018. He is also involved in two rape casesone of which was aggravated at gunpoint, which occurred in 1995 and 1996, for which he was sentenced in 2001 to fifteen years’ imprisonment. In July 2023, he was again indicted as part of a investigation into the disappearance of Françoise Hohmann, in Strasbourg, in 1987. In 2001, the man was acquitted of the murder of the 23-year-old commercial, for lack of evidence. A judicial investigation had been reopened in February 2020 due to “new loads”as mentioned Le Figaro July 26, 2023. It is now suspected of criminal arbitrary confinement in this case.
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