An anti-migrant demonstration in the Brittany village of Arzon degenerated on Monday night when police were forced to fire tear gas after protesters kicked down the door of a centre where young migrants were being lodged.
A number of protesters were arrested after forcing their way into the centre, regional newspaper Ouest-France reported.
Police were forced to stand guard at the entrance throughout the night.
According to Ouest-France around 100 members of far-right 'identitaire' groups travelled to the village to hold the protest. Reports say very few locals joined in.
— Maël Fabre (@maelfabre) 14 novembre 2016
The protest had been organised by right wing groups after the regional prosecutor confirmed that a 67-year-old local woman had been sexually assaulted by a young Sudanese migrant on Thursday November 10th.
The 16-year-old had been placed in the local centre to accommodate refugee minors after being moved out of Calais when the Jungle camp was cleared.
The extremist groups had accused the local authorities of covering up the incident, but the prosecutor hit back saying the assault had been greatly exaggerated on social media.
François Touron, the prosecutor in the town of Vannes told Ouest France: “The victim was taking the shopping out of her car when she was approached by a young man. In broken English he told her that her house was beautiful. Then he gave her a kiss. After the fifth kiss the woman pushed him back.”
The prosecutor continued: “The young man, from Sudan, touched the woman’s left breast, but at no point did he expose himself. He made a gesture as if he was masturbating, then ran off quickly.”
The 67-year-old victim reported the incident to police and the 16-year-old migrant was arrested and charged with sexual assault. He was later released and is due to go before a court in Brittany in March.
Mayor of Arzon Roland Tabart told Ouest France: “Since Thursday I have been in permanent contact with the local authority and the local police.
“There has been a complaint and there is an investigation.
The mayor said staff from Britain’s immigration services were working with French authorities about the relocation of the young migrants in the centre to the UK.
“A number of young migrants will leave for the UK as planned,” said Tabart. It is not clear whether the young Sudanese migrant will be moved from the local area.
Thousands of migrants have been moved to orientation centres around France since the Calais Jungle was closed last month.
The reception they have been granted has been mixed. While some are greeted warmly, some locals have held protests against the welcoming of migrants in their town.