A French court has ordered the release of Christian Iacono, who was given a nine-year prison sentence for raping his grandson Gabriel. For years, Gabriel maintained his grandfather raped him before spectacularly retracting his accusations.

"/> A French court has ordered the release of Christian Iacono, who was given a nine-year prison sentence for raping his grandson Gabriel. For years, Gabriel maintained his grandfather raped him before spectacularly retracting his accusations.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

RAPE

‘Rapist’ mayor released after grandson’s plea

A French court has ordered the release of Christian Iacono, who was given a nine-year prison sentence for raping his grandson Gabriel. For years, Gabriel maintained his grandfather raped him before spectacularly retracting his accusations.

'Rapist' mayor released after grandson's plea
The Courthouse in Grasse. Photo: DICOMM, French Ministry of Justice

In February, French student Gabriel Iacono went on a hunger strike to secure the release of his 77-year-old grandfather who had been jailed for rape in 2009.

21-year-old Gabriel spent two days in front of the courthouse in the French town of Grasse, subsisting on a diet of water and orange juice. He stopped his hunger strike when he obtained a hearing with prosecutors in Grasse.

But his battle really came to end on Tuesday when the court agreed to release his grandfather.

The lawyer representing the former mayor of Vence, Christian Iacono, yesterday welcomed the decision. 

“He will be released on April 5,” said lawyer Gérard Baudoux in an interview with AFP, adding that he was determined to “continue efforts to obtain the recognition of his client’s innocence.”

Gabriel accused his grandfather of raping him as a child and maintained his accusations for eleven years. The 2009 conviction was based on medical reports detailing injuries on the boy’s body and on his testimony, which was viewed as credible by experts at the time.

But in May last year, Gabriel changed his mind and retracted the accusations against his grandfather. He said he still believed he was raped as a child but not by his grandfather. 

“I can still see this scene before me, but I no longer see it as possible. I might have transposed my grandfather onto someone else,” he told Nice-Matin.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

LAW

French President Macron says France’s laws on child sex abuse must change

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday January 23rd that the law had to change to better protect victims of child sexual abuse, after thousands shared their stories in response to a newly published book.

French President Macron says France's laws on child sex abuse must change
Yoan VALAT / POOL / AFP

“Today shame is switching sides” from victims to perpetrators, Macron said in a video posted to Twitter, welcoming the fact that “people feel free to speak everywhere in France”.

The flood of testimony under the social media hashtag #Metooinceste followed the early January publication of a book, “La familia grande”, by Camille Kouchner.

In it she accused her step-father, prominent political commentator Olivier Duhamel, of having abused her twin brother. Macron did not directly address that case.

But in a short video posted to Twitter, he promised those speaking out online: “We are here. We're listening to you. We believe you. And you will never be alone again.”

And he added: “We have to adapt our laws to better protect child victims of incest and sexual violence.”

Promising to “punish criminals for their acts in the past and prevent them ever reoffending”, Macron said the law would be updated.

In 2018, France already pushed back the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against minors to 30 years.

But some people have argued such acts should never fall beyond the reach of the justice system.

“No-one can ignore these experiences any longer,” Macron said. “We have to hear and gather victims' testimonies even years, decades afterwards.”

SHOW COMMENTS