Wednesday, October 3, 2012
French man gets 800,000 euros for false rape conviction
A French court Tuesday ordered nearly 800,000 euros to be paid in compensation to a former farm worker who spent more than seven years in prison after being falsely convicted of child rape.
Loic Secher, 51, is only the seventh person to have a wrongful conviction overturned in France since 1945. He had been demanding 2.4 million euros ($3 million) in damages.
Secher had spent seven years and three months in prison after a 14-year-old girl accused him of raping her. He was sentenced in 2003 to 16 years in jail.
The alleged victim retracted her accusation in 2008 and Secher was acquitted two years later, emerging from prison in April 2010.
His lawyers said he suffered violence at the hands of his fellow prisoners and had attempted suicide.
The court in the northwestern city of Rennes also ordered Secher's mother to be paid 50,000 euros in damages and awarded a sum of 30,000 euros to each of his three siblings.
Secher, who had consistently proclaimed his innocence, has said he felt "destroyed" and "ruined" by his time in prison.
"There can be no price put on compensation for what he went through," said Jean-Pierre Chesne, who headed a group seeking Secher's acquittal.