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'Balcony rapist' resumes attacks in France

Joshua Melvin · 19 Jun 2014, 10:33

Published: 19 Jun 2014 10:33 GMT+02:00

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Police in Avignon in southern France believe the so-called “Balcony rapist”, who has struck at least six times, has begun attacking victims once again.

Until two weeks ago, his last assault was in October 2013 leading police to wonder if he’d moved on to another area. But when a hooded man scaled the facade of a building the night of June 5th and attacked a 17-year-old girl in her bed, investigators couldn’t ignore the similarities, French daily Le Parisien reported.

“He put his hand over her mouth and threatened her, before calmly asking her get undressed,” Avignon prosecutor Bernard Marchal told AFP. “She negotiated with him, he threatened her several times.”

Like in the previous cases the attacker went up to the first floor, entered a bedroom and then surprised the victim in the middle of the night as she slept. Following the sexual assault he would order the victims to shower in order to destroy evidence of the crime.

However, in this case the quick-thinking high school girl talked the attacker into leaving. She was left unharmed and ordered into a bathroom while he made his escape.

The attacker first became known to police around August 10, 2013 when a woman was raped in her bedroom. Four other assaults followed in quick succession, with the last one reported in October 2013. In each instance the women were 22-34 years old and lived in the village of Montfavet, which is close to Avignon.

In only one case did the victim manage to fight him off and send him running during the attack.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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