The (judicial) tide is turning for the rapists who prey on young girls and women in the capital’s festive circles. As relayed by our colleagues from La Libre, on Tuesday, the 54th chamber of the Brussels Criminal Court sentenced a social worker from the bar El Café, in the student district of the cemetery of Ixelles, to 50 months in prison for the rape of a client. Because of’“extreme gravity of the facts”the personality of the defendant and his “total absence of questioning”, the court refused to grant him a reprieve “who would maintain his feeling of impunity”.
On the bench, the build of a wardrobe with mirror strapped in an immaculate white shirt sags. The defendant receives the sentence, severe.
The facts took place in the toilets of the establishment on the night of March 1 to 2, 2019, almost two years before the #balancetonbar movement which had brought, last fall, a wave of denunciations of sexual assaults committed in cafes and restaurants in Brussels. Before the other big cities of the country.
The victim was twenty years old
The bouncer at the Ixellois café has always disputed the facts, just admitting to having kissed the then twenty-year-old girl. But for the court, the defendant’s statements and his fluctuating explanations are not credible.
On the contrary, the context of the disclosure of the facts accredits the testimony of the victim. On March 2, a little after 5 a.m., a man approached a young girl, in tears, on a platform at Etterbeek station, a stone’s throw from the El Café. She tells him what just happened. The stranger decides to call the police. It is he who triggers the judicial machine.
The young girl will be taken to the Center for the care of victims of sexual violence (CPVS) in Brussels, where she is heard and taken care of. Samples will be taken from his mouth.
The victim remained constant in his accusations and did not seek to add to them, notes the judgment. She explained that she was forced to perform oral sex on a bouncer at the El Café. She found herself alone with the man who had locked the door. A witness said she looked shocked as she left the toilet, while the defendant was smiling.
Blue checkered boxer shorts
The bouncer has always maintained that he went to the cafe’s bathroom at the girl’s invitation. Why, if at all, had he followed her when he should have asked her to leave the premises instead – it was closing time? In principle, a sorter is supposed to stand at the door. At first, the man indicated that he was content to discuss a minute and a half with her. Before going back on his statements by saying that the young client had rubbed shoulders with him and had kissed him. Nothing else.
The victim was however able to precisely describe the underpants (blue, checkered, boxer type) that his attacker actually wore that night, points out the court. As she could tell he was circumcised. The defendant had eluded: she knew that because he had confided in her at the start of the evening.
A confusing explanation
But how to explain that we found the DNA of the sorteur in the traces of sperm taken from the mouth of the victim? The defendant had been confronted with the scientific report before the investigating judge. The court did not believe his explanations, which were preposterous to say the least. According to him, just before taking his service, his mistress had made him a blowjob, quickly, in the car, during which he had ejaculated. The lady and he then kissed. This is how his sperm would have ended up – several hours later… – in the mouth of the complainant whom he said was limited to kissing.