Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • LIVE: French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

France

Suspected serial rapist arrested after French campsite attacks

©

Text by Ben MCPARTLAND

Latest update : 2012-08-11

Police have arrested a man suspected of a series of sexual assaults at campsites in the picturesque Ardèche region of southeast France. Since the end of June, seven young girls aged between seven and 12 have reportedly been attacked.

A man was arrested late on Friday after a spate of nighttime sexual assaults on young girls at campsites in the south of France

Since the end of June, seven young girls between the ages of seven and 12 have been victims of rape or sexual assault at campsites across the scenic Ardèche region, a popular spot for both French and foreign holidaymakers.

The latest attack occurred at the Chantalou campsite in Saint-Didier-sous-Aubenas at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, when a man sneaked into a tent where two girls aged 10 and 11 were sleeping, just yards from their parents’ caravan.

According to French media, the attacker then raped one of the girls before her screams forced him to flee.

France’s RTL radio revealed on Thursday that the assault was the latest in a series of attacks at campsites in the region.

The proximity of the incidents, the short time period and the similarity of the victims suggested a lone predator was at large. In each incident the attacks took place in the dead of night.

Rural idyll shattered

The attacks have left a stain on this normally idyllic corner of France, which receives around 270,000 visitors each year, a quarter of whom are from abroad.

The region's campsites attract thousands of tourists during the busy summer holidays who come to enjoy the unspoiled landscape.

The ease with which the assailant entered the campsites to strike at will has shocked and frightened many holidaymakers.

“The owners are very strict about security here. Access to the campsite is not easy,” one camper at Saint-Didier-sous-Aubenas told French daily Le Parisien.

The first incident being linked to the series of attacks occurred at a campsite in Ruoms at the end of the June. The victim was reportedly a young foreign tourist who was assaulted in a mobile home.

Similar incidents occurred at campsites in Privas, Lavilledieu and Vogüé, according to France's Europe1 radio.

A member of the staff at the Chantalou Campsite, which is now the focus of much media attention, was reluctant to speak when contacted by FRANCE 24.

“The police are handling the investigation and we have no further comment to make,” she said.

According to the AFP news agency, other campsites across the region have confirmed that they are stepping up security in the wake of the sexual assaults.

 

Date created : 2012-08-10

Comments

COMMENT(S)