The Toulouse Criminal Court sentenced Stéphane P., residing in the Somme, to two years in prison, one of which is suspended for violence, threats with execution, blackmail and identity theft against his ex-partner Sophia. On the other hand, the massive dissemination 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 repressing this type of fact. “The offense against revenge-porn as it is called and porn disclosure, as the associations call it, did not exist before a 2020 law if the person had previously consented to make these photos and videos. While they had to stay in an intimate setting” explains with regret the lawyer of the victim, master Hélène Chayrigues.
Seven complaints filed by the victim
Stéphane P. and Sophia met in September 2012. He lives in Amiens, they see each other in Toulouse once a month, and quickly he insistently and persuasively offers Sophia to film their sexual encounters, with a small camera or a telephone . She ends up agreeing, because it’s supposed to stay between them and “he tells her that you have to live with the times, that it is done, that it is a proof of love“. In the fall of 2014, Sophia discovers that her lover is in fact living with another woman in Amiens and decides to leave him. This is where the wave of cyberharassment, “pornodisclosure” that Sophia will suffer for years begins. Between October 2014 and February 2015, she files seven complaints, embarks on a legal battle and puts all its energy into having humiliating, degrading content, distributed without its consent, removed.
“At this level it is not harassment, it is persecution” launches the president of the court at the hearing, after having read the facts which emerge from the instruction, by addressing the defendant who denies it en bloc. He is accused of violence, like the day when he surprises Sophia in his building hall, like a predator, spits on her and hits her. She suffers from several bruises and files a complaint. Stéphane P. harasses her by email, by telephone, for example these 31 text messages sent in one hour on her cell phone.
Massive dissemination, without consent, of intimate video photos
Unable to bear that she leaves him, he usurps her identity, threatening to reveal videos and photos of their sexual encounters on the Internet. He blackmails Sophia into paying him back the 800 euros he lent her to go on vacation. One day, the threats are carried out: fake facebook accounts are created, fake profiles on dating sites with photos, intimate videos, insulting remarks. Intimate content is also posted on various porn sites and “spread on the canvas like a trail of powder“describes the lawyer for the civil party, Maître Hélène Chayrigues.
Sophia’s personal and professional addresses are broadcast, her telephone number. Men even show up at her house, following false announcements of paid sexual proposals. One day she finds dozens of insulting post-its on her front door. She receives a confirmation email to participate in a casting for a pornographic film. “It has gone crescendo in the persecution, it is a process of dehumanization, it has annihilated, soiled, degraded”, said the lawyer in her pleading***.* Her family, her friends, her co-workers, the members of the association to which she belongs, all received photos, intimate videos** of the young woman. Her father cut off all contact with his daughter until his death in 2017, because of this affair.
“Condemned to the torture of Sisyphus”
Between 2014 and 2017 Sophia takes many and many steps with websites, social networks, search browsers to have these videos, these fake accounts deleted. She deployed mad energy to clean the Internet of these intimate videos, in vain, until exhaustion.
“The defendant condemned her to the torture of Sisyphus, a character from Greek mythology, condemned to perpetually roll a huge rock to the top of a mountain, from where it fell constantly, since these videos and photos abounded day after day on the Internet and still until today. »
In March 2017, Sophia cracked. She falls ill, suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome, she is urgently hospitalized in 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 estimates that **”**the actions of which Sophia was the victim attacked her psychic integrity in a lasting way, they devitalized her, generated a permanent state of alert.
Sophia, said her lawyer at the hearing “was submissive and fascinated by this man, she was under his control. She bitterly regrets having been naive, having agreed to make certain videos in private“.
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 ” his admiration for the victim “, for ” his courage, his patience while justice is long “. The public prosecutor considers this file as ” particularly emblematic of the harm that can be done through the Internettraps that can be set “.
The defendant, already convicted for similar facts, denies the facts
During his trial, Stéphane P. denies the facts en bloc and even wears a crooked smile: “I never hit him, I didn’t post any photos or videos online and I don’t know who did it. It is not me.” The president replies “you were using an IP address scrambler but a hard drive was found at your mother’s house with 221 photos and 27 videos.”
“A jammer requires computer skills, I’m only a delivery driver” he replies.
“You must not exaggerate, it’s not that complicated” annoys the president who quotes the messages found on Sophia’s phone: “I hate you, I’m going to ruin your life, humiliate you, destroy you. You were mine.” Sophia even accuses Stéphane P. of rape in a mansion in June 2014 but she did not file a complaint for this, she did not have enough elements, she did not make a medical report.
Stephane P. has already been sentenced by the Amiens Court of Appeal for similar acts against an ex-companion in 2012. His criminal record mentions convictions for repeated death threats, fraud, identity theft, disturbance of peace, attack on honor. A psychiatric expertise reveals a “narcissistic character”, a “potential danger to others”, described as “concealing”, “absorbing a posture of seducer in permanent search for extra-marital relations”.
The defendant, sentenced on Wednesday is prohibited from coming into contact with Sophia, will be subject to an obligation of care and will have to compensate the victim financially. His lawyer, Marie-Hélène Pibouleau, pleaded at the hearing “a lack of evidence to determine his responsibility in the dissemination of videos and photos” and requested on this aspect the release of his client. She didn’t want him to be made “an example” for all victims of porn disclosure. She said he would not appeal his conviction.
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The ex-lover of a Toulouse woman persecuted on the Internet sentenced by justice
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