The Criminal Court of Toulouse sentenced Stéphane P., resident of Somme, to two years in prison, one of which is suspended for violence, threats of execution, blackmail and identity theft against his ex-partner Sophia. On the other hand, the mass distribution of videos and intimate photos of the 38-year-old young woman, without her consent, was not held against him, for lack of a law before 2020 that suppressed this type of fact. “Offenses against revenge-pornography, as it is called, and disclosure of pornography, as the associations call it, did not exist before a 2020 law if the person had previously consented to taking these photos and videos. While they had to stay in an intimate setting” explains the victim’s lawyer, master Hélène Chayrigues, with regret.
Seven reports from the victim
Stéphane P. and Sophia met in September 2012. He lives in Amiens, they see each other in Toulouse once a month and soon he persistently and convincingly offers Sophia to film their sexual encounters, with a small camera or a phone. She ends up agreeing because she’s supposed to stand between them and “he tells her that you have to live with time, that it is done, that it is a test of love“. In the autumn of 2014, Sophia discovers that her lover is actually living with another woman in Amiens and decides to leave him. This is where the wave of cyber harassment begins, the “porn revelation” that Sophia will suffer for years. Between October 2014 and February 2015, she makes seven complaints, starts a legal battle and puts all its energy into removing degrading, humiliating content, shared without its consent.
“At this level it is not harassment, it is persecution“The president of the court starts the session, after having read the facts that emerge from the instruction, addressing the defendant who denies it in the block. He is accused of violence, like the day he surprises Sofia in the hall of his building. like a predator, it spits and strikes. She suffers from some bruises and makes a complaint. Stéphane P. harasses her by email, by phone, for example these 31 messages sent in one hour to her cell phone.
Mass distribution, without consent, of intimate video photos
Unable to get her to leave him, he usurps her identity, threatening to leak videos and photos of their sexual encounters online. He blackmails Sofia to return the 800 euros he lent her to go on vacation. One day the threats are carried out: fake facebook account are created fake profiles on dating sites with photos, intimate videos, offensive lines. Intimate content is also posted in various pornographic sites and “spread across the canvas like a trail of dust“explains the lawyer of the civil party, Maître Hélène Chayrigues.
Sofia’s personal and professional addresses, her phone number are transmitted. Men even show up at her house, after false advertisements for paid sexual proposals. One day she finds dozens of offensive posts on her front door. She receives a confirmation email to participate in a casting for a pornographic film. “It is a crescendo in persecution, it is a process of dehumanization, it has annihilated, polluted, degraded”. said the lawyer in her plea***.* Her family, her friends, her co-workers, the members of the association she belongs to, all received photos, intimate videos** of the young woman. Her father cut off all contact with his daughter until his death in 2017, due to the affair.
“Condemned to the torture of Sisyphus”
Between 2014 and 2017 Sophia takes many, many steps with websites, social networks, search browsers to delete these videos, these fake accounts. She used mad energy to scour the internet of these intimate videos, in vain, to the point of exhaustion.
“The defendant sentenced him to the torture of Sisyphus, a character from Greek mythology, who was sentenced to repeatedly roll a large rock to the top of a mountain, from which he repeatedly fell, as these videos and photos were published day after day on the Internet and still to this day. »
In March 2017, Sophia broke. she gets sick suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome, has been urgently admitted to intensive care at the Rangueil hospital for 15 days, her vital prognosis is engaged. She is paralyzed, her body can no longer move. A psychiatric report of the victim states that ***”**the actions of which Sophia was a victim steadily attacked her psychic integrity, devitalized her, created a permanent state of alertness.
Sophia, her lawyer said at the hearing “she was subjugated and enchanted by this man, she was under his control. She regrets being naive, having agreed to make some videos privately“.
An association created in Toulouse against cyberbullying
A friend of Sophia, Magali Chavanne, created an association in Toulouse in 2017 to help her and all victims of cyberbullying, to do prevention: cybarso
In her indictment, the public prosecutor says that ” his admiration for the victim “, for” his courage, his patience while justice is long “. The public prosecutor considers this file as ” SPECIALLY emblematic of the damage that can be done via the Internettraps that can be set “.
The defendant, already convicted for similar facts, denies the facts
During his trial, Stéphane P. denies the facts in the block and even has a crooked smile: “I never hit him, I didn’t post any photos or videos on the Internet and I don’t know who did it. It’s not me. “The President Answers”you were using an IP address resolver but a hard drive with 221 photos and 27 videos was found in your mother’s house.”
“A blocker requires computer skills, I’m just a transport driver,” he replies.
“Don’t exaggerate, it’s not that complicated,” exasperates the president, who quotes the messages found on Sofia’s phone: “I hate you, I will destroy your life, I will humiliate you, I will destroy you. You were mine.” Sophia even accuses Stéphane P. of rape in a building in June 2014, but she did not make a complaint about it, there were not enough elements, she did not make a medical report.
Stephen P. has already been convicted by the Court of Appeal of Amiens for similar actions against a former friend in 2012. His criminal record lists convictions for repeated death threats, fraud, identity theft, breach of peace, assault on honor. A psychiatric examination reveals a “narcissistic character”, a “potential danger to others”, described as “hiding”, “absorbing a seductive attitude in permanent search for extramarital affairs”.
The defendant, sentenced on Wednesday, is prohibited from contacting Sofia, will be subject to an obligation of care and will have to compensate the victim financially. His lawyer, Marie-Hélène Pibouleau, testified at the hearing “lack of evidence to determine his responsibility in the distribution of videos and photos” and requested in this regard the release of his client. She did not want him to become an “example” for all victims of pornography discovery. She said he would not appeal his sentence.