• France edition
 
French mum jailed for son's prison rape
The woman sexually assaulted her son repeatedly - sending video of the attacks to her jailed partner, before aiding in the toddler's rape during a "conjugal" visit. Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP

French mum jailed for son's prison rape

Published: 26 Sep 2013 08:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Sep 2013 08:14 GMT+02:00

A French mother who held down her four-year-old son while he was raped by his stepfather in a prison visiting room was sentenced Wednesday to a maximum 20 years in jail.

Her partner, 31-year-old Lionel Barthelemy, who has been jailed since August 2009 for violence, also received the same sentence from the court in Strasbourg, eastern France.

Both Sabrina Bonner, 25, and Barthelemy have admitted to multiple counts of rape and sexual assault of the boy, now eight.

Some of the assaults, including the rape in the visiting room at the Toul detention centre in eastern France, had been filmed on a mobile phone.

"The behaviour of Sabrina B. is not even that of an animal towards its child," said prosecutor Gilles Delorme, who also described Barthelemy as "a sadist in the purest form".

At the detention centre, Bonner had blindfolded her son and made him kneel on a chair in front of Barthelemy, then held him by the arms as he was raped.

The case had raised questions over why prison staff failed to stop, or even notice, an act of such brutality taking place during what was supposed to be a supervised visit to a prisoner serving a sentence for domestic violence, who had been diagnosed as having schizophrenic tendencies.

Investigators had found that black bin bags were used to cover the glass window of the door of the visiting room.

Yannick Pheulpin, the lawyer representing the victim, said he intended, at the end of the trial, to initiate legal proceedings aimed at holding the prison to account for the suffering of the child.

Psychiatrist Jean-Pierre May told the court that the couple had a "sado-masochist relationship" in which each took turns to be "master" and "slave".

"It is hard to determine who used the other more" during the savage acts carried out on the boy, said another expert, Jean-Georges Rohmer.

Bonner has admitted carrying out multiple sexual assaults on her child during 2009 and 2010, filming them on her mobile phone and giving the phone's memory card to her imprisoned partner.

The court was shown 11 videos taken from Bonner's mobile phone during the week, described as featuring "abominable acts," being akin to "child pornography."

"It was more than painful," said the victim's representative. "It was insufferable, on the level of unspeakable."

For his part, Barthelemy's lawyer Matthieu Airoldi noted that "one of the jurors, he turned the screen away, he just refused to watch [the videos.]"

She gave herself up to police in May 2011, shortly before Barthelemy was due to be released from prison.

Bonner has claimed that she carried out the assaults under the orders and threat of violence from Barthelemy.

Don't miss stories like this - join us on Facebook and Twitter

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
BREAKING NEWS
Helicopter crash in France leaves five dead
The map shows the town of Montbeliard, near where the helicopter came down on Thursday. Image: Google Maps

Helicopter crash in France leaves five dead

Five people were left dead and two others injured when a helicopter crashed in the garden of a suburban house in eastern France on Thursday. READ  

Sarkozy's seven ideas for how to save France
Sarkozy has come up with his plan of how to fix France. Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP

Sarkozy's seven ideas for how to save France

Nicolas Sarkozy’s return to French politics continued apace this week when he presented his plan for how "hope" can be restored to France. We've narrowed his personal rescue package down to seven key proposals. READ  

JobTalk France - Job fair
Paris job fair opens with 10,000 posts up for grabs
There are 10,000 jobs up for grabs at the Paris Pour L'Emploi jobs fair this week. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Paris job fair opens with 10,000 posts up for grabs

Anyone within reach of Paris and in need of work could do worse than heading down to Place de la Concorde on Thursday and Friday, where 2,000 top recruiters will be taking CVs as part of the annual Paris Pour Emploi job fair. There are 10,000 jobs up for grabs. READ  

France moves step closer to plastic bag ban
Plastic bags will soon become a thing of the past in France. Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

France moves step closer to plastic bag ban

The prospect of a nationwide plastic bag ban in France moved a step closer this week with the proposal included in the government’s energy bill that was debated in Parliament. Paris is leading the race to be the country’s first plastic bag free city. READ  

France sends more fighter jets to fight Isis
France is sending more fighter jets to bomb Isis targets in Iraq, the country's military says. Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP

France sends more fighter jets to fight Isis

France confirmed this week that it will be sending more fighter jets to the Middle East to carry out air strikes against jihadists from Isis who have taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria. READ  

Paris Fashion Week: Five trends to emerge
Was Mexican wrestling-style masks one of the trends to emerge from the Paris Fashion Week? Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Paris Fashion Week: Five trends to emerge

Didn't manage to get a seat by the catwalk during this year's Paris Fashion week? No need to worry, here's five trends that emerged from the catwalks this week. READ  

Better to grow old in the UK and US than France?
Is it really better to grow old in the US and the UK than France? Plenty would disagree. Photo: Jazz Beaunola/Flickr

Better to grow old in the UK and US than France?

A new global study concludes pensioners have a better quality of life in the US and the UK than in France. This may come as a surprise to the thousands of retired expats who came to France to settle. So is the study wrong and where would you rather grow old? READ  

Paris tourism
Louvre and Versailles to open seven days a week
The Louvre in Paris will be open seven days a week in future. As will Versailles and the Musée d'Orsay.

Louvre and Versailles to open seven days a week

Three of France's most famous museums and art galleries - the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Musee d'Orsay - will soon be open seven days a week, the government revealed on Wednesday. Many visitors may be surprised they aren't already open all week-round. READ  

Profile - A French 'executioner'?
Pot-smoking Frenchman is Isis 'executioner'
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube allegedly shows members of a Jihadist group affiliated to the jihadist group Isis. Photo: AFP

Pot-smoking Frenchman is Isis 'executioner'

The man accused by the US State department of carrying out executions for the Islamist extremist group Isis was a "fun-loving" Frenchman who enjoyed smoking weed and going out clubbing, according to this report. READ  

First ever class action lawsuit filed in France
A property management company is the target of France's first ever class action suit. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

First ever class action lawsuit filed in France

On the same day class action lawsuits became legal in France, a consumer watchdog group filed one of the collective proceedings against the country’s biggest landlord over the "illegal" fees it charges renters. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Paris museums to open seven days a week but unions are not happy
Culture
Caption contest: What happened when Jay Z met Sark O?
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
International
This explains why the French never seem to get a sense of déjà vu?
National
VIDEO: Here's a view from the Eiffel Tower you haven't seen before
Travel
Do Paris's iconic rooftops deserve Unesco World Heritage status?
Opinion
'France cannot reform, the pilots' strike showed us this'
National
'We just don’t work hard enough in France.' Is that true?
International
France has moved to beef up security in various public places
National
Hiking naked in France does not come risk-free
Culture
10 French customs that confuse Anglos
National
IN PICTURES: A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison
International
Isis urges killing of 'spiteful, dirty' French
National
Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
National
Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
National
'Paris is a sexy city, its beauty is inspiring'
Culture
Depardieu: ‘I drink 14 bottles of booze a day’
National
Top French chefs want banned bird on menu
National
VIDEO: Making of French rugby hunk calendar
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Politics
French separatists want Scots to say 'yes'
National
Anti-dog poo offensive launched in French town
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se