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Man jailed for daylight rape on Paris RER train

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Man jailed for daylight rape on Paris RER train
An RER train in Paris. Photo: Paul Beattie
17:16 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: A 20-year-old man, who was found guilty of raping a young woman in broad day light on a regional RER commuter train near Paris, was jailed for nine years on Tuesday. Prosecutors in Paris had demanded an 11-year jail term.

According to reports the attacker targeted his victim as she travelled in a carriage without any other passengers on an RER D train, just south of Paris at around midday on December 23,  2011.

The attcker approached the victim, a 22-year-old woman, seizing her mobile phone and bag, when the train was at Buno-Gironville station.

Then, according to prosecutors, he blindfolded his victim and raped her until the train reached the end of the line at Malesherbes.

Arriving at the station, he then assaulted the woman, before forcing her to board another train back towards Paris. Her shocking ordeal eventually came to an end when her attacker released her at Boigneville station.

Police arrested the man several days later after tracking him via the mobile phone he stole and matching DNA samples.

The court case against the suspect, who was 18 years old at the time of the crime, was heard behind closed doors.

The unemployed man, originally, from French Guiana, had moved into the metropolitan region of Ile de France a few months before the incident, his lawyer said according to earlier media reports.

There have been other reported rape attacks on the RER line D this year. French newspaper Le Figaro reported that a young girl and an elderly woman were attacked in separate incidences in February this year. Thanks to video surveillance police were able to arrest a suspect in the weeks after the attacks.

The RER commuter train service which connects central Paris to surrounding suburbs and towns has somewhat of a reputation for being a hotbed of crime.

Earlier this security on the service was questioned when a 20-strong gang staged an audacious robbery on passengers as their RER D train waited at Grigny station.

The robbery thrust levels of crime on Paris's transport system into the spotlight. 

According to data published in Le Figaro, there are 150 reported crimes each day on the rail network in and around Paris. In total there are around 55,000 crimes each year on the RER and Metro services in the French capital, which represents a rise of 1.7 percent on last year.

Although Le Figaro reports that acts of violence on trains decreased in 2012, attacks against members of staff soared by 25 percent.

Do you feel safe on the RER in Paris? Or do you avoid taking it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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