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Paris: Frenchman, 73, raped, beaten in gallery

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Paris: Frenchman, 73, raped, beaten in gallery
A 73-year-old Paris art gallery owner was raped and tortured after a business deal turned sour, police say. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/ AFP
11:26 CEST+02:00
A 73-year-old male art gallery owner in Paris was tortured and raped by three men after a business arrangement turned sour, Le Parisien newspaper reported on Wednesday. The attackers also repeatedly injected him with a syringe they said contained the AIDS virus.

Three men face charges over torture, rape and theft after they allegedly held a 73-year-old male Paris gallery owner against his will for five hours, burning, beating and raping him in an attempt to extort €350,000 for a failed business venture, French daily Le Parisien reported in their newspaper edition.

According to police, it all started around 7:30pm on February 21st when the three assailants burst into the victim’s gallery in the 9th arrondissement of the French capital. One of the attackers is believed to have known the victim well.

According to Le Parisien, the alleged ringleader, named only as Emmanuel S, 45, had managed a Paris gay bar owned by the victim until it went bankrupt in January 2013. Blaming the victim for his own financial ruin that followed the business’s collapse, Emmanuel S had come seeking "compensation," according to police.

While Emmanuel at first asked for the money, his means quickly became more extreme and cruel, police said. After punching and tying up the gallery owner, the assailants set about torturing him to try to make him hand over the money.

They then repeatedly injected the victim with a syringe the attackers said contained the AIDS virus, and then burned him with cigarettes before gang-raping him repeatedly. In the process the attackers forced him to sign an IOU for €350,000.

The ordeal lasted until well past midnight. But when the attackers left the victim alone for a moment he managed to flee and took refuge in a nearby bar. The patrons there called for help and the gallery owner was rushed to the hospital.

Not long after the attack the gallery owner realized the attackers had made off with €3,000 in cash and jewellery. He also found a photo, taken of him the night of the attack by the assailants, taped to his gallery window.

Police said they recovered photos and videos of the brutal attack as well as they IOU from Emmanuel’s apartment.

The alleged ringleader, who was arrested with his two accomplices last month, remains behind bars as the case works its way through the justice system.

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