By Laurence Wauters
Lhe Brussels Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced a 45-year-old man, a former bouncer at the Mexican restaurant-bar “El Café”, to 50 months in prison. He had no criminal record, but given the seriousness of the facts, the reprieve was not granted to him.
The rape dates back to the night of March 1 to 2, 2019. The victim, then 20 years old, was celebrating a birthday in this festive place in the cemetery of Ixelles. Going out to take the air in front of the establishment, she had exchanged a few words with the defendant, who had been too pleasant and whom she had put in his place. The evening had lasted and the young woman, while the place was emptying, had gone to the WC. The date had followed her, he had pushed her into one of the toilets and had forced her there, during a long scene of 30 minutes and under threat, to give him two oral sex.
The victim then fled the scene on foot, going to Etterbeek station where a homeless man passed her in shock and in tears. It was he who had called the police; the young woman had been referred to a care center for victims of sexual violence (CPVS).
The judgment delivered on Tuesday notes that the civil party remained constant in its accusations and that it had no interest in supporting them. On the other hand, he underlines variations and inconsistencies in the remarks of the forty-year-old: at first, he told the investigators that they had “just discussed” in the toilets. Fearing the results of a DNA expertise, he then mentioned a consented kiss. But if the samples taken at the CPVS had indeed made it possible to find the DNA of the sorteur in the mouth of the young woman, they had also updated the presence of seminal fluid belonging to him. He then claimed that he had arrived there by contamination, after a blowjob from his companion, followed by a kiss. In defense, Me Abdelhadi Amrani pleaded for acquittal, asking “that we pay attention to the effects of the #balancetonbar movement”.
The victim was deeply marked by this sexual abuse, which would have led to his hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital on two occasions. The judgment, underlines his lawyer Me Caroline Poiré, insists on the fact that the author “does not take his responsibilities and has still not become aware of the extreme gravity of his acts. »
In civil matters, the forties must compensate the victim up to 8,500 euros. Despite the height of the sentence, the public prosecutor did not request his immediate arrest.
Note that other facts allegedly committed at the “El Café” led to the “#balancetonbar” movement last fall: a waiter was the subject of an investigation for sexual abuse of female customers. Following this black series, the restaurant-café had communicated by promising the implementation of a series of preventive measures.