“Le Procès du rape”, on Planète +: the case which upset French law -!


Culture Televisions & Radio Historian Jean-Yves Le Naour and director Cédric Condon retrace the Aix-en-Provence trial, in 1974, and the awareness that led to the criminalization of rape.

Lawyer Gisèle Halimi and Professor Alexandre Minkowski, surrounded by Anne T tab ( on the left) and Araceli Castellano (on the right), in May 1974, To Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône). KILAOHM PRODUCTIONS / MARINA JACQUES – CHOOSE PLANET + CRIME INVESTIGATION – FRIDAY 18 AUGUST TO 22 H 40 – DOCUMENTARY

It is the story of a silence that cracks, cracks and breaks. In August 1974, two young Belgian tourists, Anne T tab and Araceli Castellano, who were camping in the Marseilles Calanques, are beaten, then raped by three men. Five hours. What was a raped woman doing at that time in France? “Before this case judged in Aix-en-Provence, barely 1 500 women dare to file a complaint and very few of these end up in a lawsuit », explains the narrator of the film. Young Belgian women will break the silence. And thus contribute to changing the law. Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In 1978, the trial that changed France’s view of rape To relate this moment of rocking, the historian Jean -Yves Le Naour and the director Cédric Condon brought together the victims, counsel and witnesses of the time: first, Anne T tab and Araceli Castellano, whose testimony exudes courage and dignity. But also the lawyers of the civil parties and the defense, journalists who have followed the case , the Secretary of State for the “Status of Women” , which shed light on the facts and recall the context. The societal impact is exposed through television archives.

Misogyny and patriarchal logic Tracing the history of this trial is to underline the depth of the anchoring of misogyny and patriarchal logics in the society of the end of the XX e century. The fight of Anne T tab and Araceli Castellano begins in the hospital: after the ordeal of the medical examination, they undergo a confrontation with the three attackers, quickly arrested by the gendarmes thanks to the details of the complaint. Then, as is the norm then, the investigation begins with a “character inquiry” of the complainants. The lesbian couple, naturist, feminist, are suspected of having light morals, of having found themselves where they shouldn’t, of wearing and doing what is wrong …

Despite the facts, which demonstrate premeditation and the absence of consent, the investigating judge reclassified the case as “assault and battery “, simple offense, leading to the criminal trial. “The judge said to them: ‘You must have consented at one point, otherwise you cannot would not be here to talk about it ””, reminds sociologist and feminist activist Christine Delphy .

Anne T tab and Araceli Castellano find support from feminist activists, mobilized, and manage to get dismissed the trial at the assizes. They contact the lawyer Gisèle Halimi , which they heard on the radio. As she had done at the trial Bobigny, in 695, for abortion , M e Halimi instructs, with Agnès Fichot, the rape trial. Hearings begin in May 1972, in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du- Rhône), and will mark a turning point: the aggressors are condemned, but, above all, the question of rape is essential , not without violence, in the public debate, through the words of women considered for a moment. The day after the verdict, the law of 21 December 1978 redefines rape and recognizes it as a crime .

The Rape Trial , documentary by Jean-Yves Le Naour and Cédric Condon (Fr., 1980, 52 min).

Mouna El Mokhtari

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