Traumatized by an exhibitionist, two teenage girls give up gymnastics

It was in court that the victims, in the presence of the accused, spoke of the trauma linked to the meeting between two gymnastics enthusiasts and a sexual exhibitionist who has been repeat offenders for 30 years.

The trial takes place at the Saint-Pierre courthouse on Reunion Island. It was there that a man was convicted for the 13th time on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The accused, in his fifties, is therefore a regular who has been convicted of sexual exhibition for nearly 30 years.

He was comparing that day for several facts that took place between December 2019 and March 2021 in the overseas department. According to the hearing report published in the Journal de l’Ile de la Réunion, “the defendant does not really have a favorite place as long as he is near young girls.”

Among his most recent victims, two gymnasts. The man would have exhibited himself in front of the two teenage girls where they were training. The first is represented by her father at the helm who explains that the shock experienced by his daughter has turned their lives upside down: “She has not slept for a month, completely traumatized and does not want to resume gymnastics when it was her passion.”

The second, a former participant in the French Gymnastics Championships, speaks in tears during the hearing. “It’s impossible to go back to train, I still have these images, these flashes …” she explains.

Very meager damages

The accused is content to remain silent, leaving his lawyer and medical expertise to highlight his recent stroke which left after-effects. The man will be sentenced to one year of imprisonment contrary to the two years requested by the prosecutor. He will also have to compensate the victims up to 1 to 500 euros. Very little, in view of the trauma that always turns the lives of its victims upside down.

Sexual exhibition, however, is part of the sexual assault defined by the Penal Code and is punishable by one year of imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros. A sentence that can be raised to two years “when the acts are committed to the prejudice of a minor of fifteen years.”

Dan Hastings

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