French cop on trial for rape at police station

A French policeman is on trial for allegedly raping a drunken woman being held at a police station while he was on duty in 2012. If this sounds familiar, that's because a separate but similar case came about earlier this year.

French cop on trial for rape at police station
A judge is weighing whether a French cop raped a woman in jail. Photo: AFP

If the allegations prove true, one woman's tale of being raped by a French police officer while in custody for public drunkeness have all the marks of a horrible abuse of power.

The 47-year-old woman, whose name wasn't released, first came into contact with police in the Parisian suburbs after stumbling around and yelling drunkenly on the night of May 16th 2012. 

She was then taken to a police station in the town of Mantes-la-Jolie at around 11pm, Le Parisien reported. Things soon took a much darker turn.

A female police officer allegedly made her take off her bra in front of male officers. And according to the victim, a policeman at the station made her write “I love you” on a piece of paper which was then passed to a single colleague.

At around 2am the woman claims the officer came into her cell and raped her twice. The assault, she says, was not carried out with threats or violence, but with her attacker's hand over her mouth to stop her from crying out.

She finally left the police station the next morning at around 4:30am and soon took an overdose of pills. After being rushed to the hospital she told doctors she had been raped, which led to the unnamed officer's arrest.

The policeman didn't deny the sex had taken place, instead he said the encounter was consensual. He claimed no one ordered her to remove her bra and insisted she later pressed his hand to her bare chest. 

By way of explaining why he had sex with a drunken prisoner at the police station, the officer said he'd done it to get revenge on a woman he was dating and whom he suspected was cheating on him.

In a highly similar case, police officers from an elite Paris police unit were charged in connection with the rape of a Canadian woman who alleges she was assaulted at police headquarters after a night of drinking. 

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Hackers post French hospital patient data online

Hackers who crippled a French hospital and stole a trove of data last month have released personal records of patients online, officials have confirmed.

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

The cyberattackers demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital near Paris a month ago, but the institution refused to pay.

The hospital said the hackers had now dumped medical scans and lab analyses along with the social security numbers of patients.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the unspeakable disclosure of hacked data,” health minister Fran├žois Braun tweeted on Sunday.

Hospitals around the world have been facing increasing attacks from ransomware groups, particularly since the pandemic stretched resources to breaking point.

The problem has been acute in France, where officials estimated early last year that healthcare institutions were facing on average an attack every week.

President Emmanuel Macron last year called the attacks during the pandemic a “crisis within a crisis” and announced an extra one billion euros for cybersecurity.

During last month’s attack, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital shut down its emergency services and sent many patients to other institutions.

At one point, officials said the only technology still working was the telephone.

Rather than selling the trove of data, the hacker has dumped at least some of it for download on the “dark web” — a hidden part of the internet that requires special software to access.

Analysts said it seemed to be a tactic to put pressure on the hospital, even though public institutions are banned by French law from paying ransoms.

Cybersecurity researcher Damien Bancal, who revealed the leak and has seen the files, told AFP the worry is that other criminals will now launch scams with the data that has already been divulged.

In response to the leak on the weekend, the hospital severely restricted access to its systems and told patients to be extremely vigilant when receiving emails, text messages or phone calls.