It’s still dark, October 16, 2002, with Blandine walking on a country road. Three kilometers separates her from the college in Aulnoye-Aymeries (North), where she is educated in third grade. In a few weeks she will be 14 years old. “I was in the middle of a teenage crisis. That morning I decided to leave on foot to avoid meeting a friend on the bus.”
Blandine sees a blue car and hears the sound of a door opening. Then footsteps. “Someone ran up behind me and threw me against the nettles. He tried to undress me but could not. I was wearing tight pants. He masturbated on top of me.”relates Blandine to franceinfo, twenty years later. “I let him, I played dead.” A car passes by and scares the attacker away. “All I saw of him was a black sweater with a white line.”
Her face, Blandine discovers it in late February 2018: round cheeks, dark eyes, thick eyebrows and a receding hairline. “I opened Facebook and I read an article about the arrest of ‘the rapist from Sambre’. It was obvious: all the details of his way of going revealed to me that it was him”, insures something and thirty. Like everyone else, she discovers that the arrested man is named Dino Scala. That he was born in 1961, that he is married and has a family. That is it well integrated in its municipality of Pont-sur-Sambre (north). To the point that no one suspected anything.
From his police custody Dino Scala admits to having attacked around forty women. But he denies certain facts, such as the attempted rape of Blandine. However, certain elements related to its modus operandi allowed the investigating judge to keep this case in the case. Thus, at the conclusion of the proceedings, he was finally dismissed for rape and sexual assault, or attempted, sometimes with a weapon and on a minor, committed between 1988 and 2018 on 56 women, including Blandine.
His trial is taking place at the Assize Court of the North, in Douai, from Friday, June 10, to Friday, July 1. He risks up to twenty years in prison. “The reasons for his actions will be at the heart of the debates. He wants to explain them as well as possible and is aware of the seriousness of the facts.”assures franceinfo Margaux Mathieu, Dino Scala’s lawyer.
Everyone who knows him wants to solve the mystery. “I want to understand why he did it”declares, for example, Claude Dupont, mayor Republicans in Boussières-sur-Sambre since 1995. “The day we found out he was the rapist, I was furious, shocked and amazedsays the 69-year-old city council member. I knew him as a very discreet man who was at the service of all. “
Dino Scala is very active. He is divided between football, his family, his job and the moonlight to make ends meet. Holder of an electromechanical CAP, this maintenance technician has worked for many years at Jeumont Electric, where motors are manufactured for industrial sectors.. To get there, he just has to follow Samberen’s bed. Dino Scala does not make waves at the factory. “He was working with one of my kids who introduced him to me. I saw him three times. I would never have believed the boy I was caught.”explains a local mechanic. “It was appreciated. He spoke lightly, always in a good mood. He saved his game really well … as if he had two personalities “adds an employee who worked with him from 2008.
“It was ‘Monsieur Tout Le Monde’, beyond suspicion.”A Jeumont Electric employee
at france info
The slick image of the model colleague is shattered just before his work days. Most of the time, Dino Scala indulges in an outburst of violence in the fall or winter, at the beginning of dawn. He chooses places out of sight. Asked by investigators about every rape or sexual assault he committed, he himself explains his well-established modus operandi: “I grabbed her by the neck”, “I gave her an armbar”, “I grabbed her from behind, I laid her on the ground”. To strangle the victim, he uses a scarf or rope that he always has in his car. He often orders her to be quiet and threatens her with a knife. He blindfolds her and then rapes her. Sometimes he asks him to count to 30, the time when he must flee.
“Samber’s rapist” is sometimes forgotten for a year or even two. Then it rages again every few weeks. In the eyes of Dino Scala, these women assaulted and raped “stay abstract shadows”, according to the psychologists who have assessed it. But for them, the trauma is deep and has left a scar for life. Some will not have the strength to come and testify during the trial. Everyone fears him, even though they are waiting for a verdict to turn the page.
Despite DNA collected at several crime scenes, the investigation stalled for a long time. Until we identified his license plate on CCTV footage from the Belgian city of Erquelinnes, after the assault on a woman who managed to escape. This allowed the investigators to finally get their fingers in him, who was nicknamed “the rapist from the Samber”. Without it, no one would have ever suspected this man with a clean criminal record and a normal life.
“In the region, everyone knew a victim, but no one made the connection”explains to franceinfo Séverine Billard, lawyer for three plaintiffs. “These cases were covered up or remained in the family circle. And it all depended on who we fell for when we had to file a complaint.” “At that time, the complainant in the common idea always had a responsibility”abounds his colleague Emmanuel Riglaire, who represents two other women. “Dino Scala, like the rest of us, has his dark side. But the incredible thing is that he has not been visible for so many years.”he states.
“It is very unusual that he was not arrested before”, insists that France informs psychiatrist Daniel Zagury. That is the opinion of the legal expert “proof” which he mastered “his modus operandi” and “demonstrates some skill in not being caught”. “It’s extremely striking to see how this type of topic can work, around this mechanism called splittingnotes Daniel Zagury. Some of them are completely customizable. But at the same time, they have dizzying behavior, in fractures and in apparent opposition. In his book Ordinary men’s barbarism (ed. L’Observatoire, 2018), the psychiatrist designates them as “Mr. All Monster”in contrast to “Lord all” relatives describe “when they hear about the monstrous acts committed”.
“When he rapes for the first time, something like this happens that he repeats and systematizes it, with a sense of impunity. That’s what’s obvious about this serial rapist,” he said. also analyzes Daniel Zagury. “By committing his first crime, the predator activates a traumatic memory in his brain. When he is again invaded by the images of this first rape, he wants to play the scene again. He takes action to relieve himself,” he says. already explained to franceinfo Muriel Salmona, psychiatrist and president of the association Traumatic memory and victimology, at the time of the arrest of Dino Scala in 2018.
“On the one hand, there is violence, with abuse, over an extended period of time. The other, a beloved man, endearing: he is a good father, a sincere friend, a loving man. He there are differences between two opposite facets “, admits his lawyer. At the time of his arrest, his wife, whom he met in 1988, portrayed him as “helpful, open, attentive”. Their three children describe parents “normal and complementary”, although the couple according to the youngest of siblings are not happy and his mother is depressed.
But his first wife, with whom he was married for seven years and had two children, did not have the same experience. She paints the portrait of an unfaithful and violent man with a double personality. And accuses him of sexually abusing one of his sisters. Allegations that have become a family secret, but which reappeared during the hearings of each other. As for her first daughter, she accuses her of touching and, along with her brother, calls her “the other”.
Dino Scala severed ties with this first family almost thirty years ago. He has few with his three brothers and two sisters. Of Italian origin he was treated as macaroni spaghetti in his childhood and these mockeries characterized him. To the investigating judge in August 2019, he explained “to have always felt separated and not recognized for its true value”. He tells that he is constantly experiencing “a kind of injustice”which obliges him “to remain the eternal second in the eyes of his father, his wife, his employer, or even the football clubs where he trained”. According to him, it is this feeling that controls his actions, in order to “to find the light where everyone left it in the shadows”.
Could his violent behavior be revenge on others? The psychiatrists and psychologists who have analyzed it are different on this point. For the former it would be “give in to ease”. They point “dangerous condition” by Dino Scala. The other describes a man “obsessive”, “a predator-hunter acting in the shadows”. They fall under “high psychopathic tendencies” his home. And one “indifference” to what one of her sisters experienced, who says she was touched by their father between 4 and 13 years old. Because the investigation revealed this second family secret. “It may be a co-factor. But it’s not because his father is incestuous that he became a rapist. There are many elements that combine.”warns psychiatrist Daniel Zagury.
“We try to understand his environment, the incestuous climate in which he grew up.”Margaux Mathieu, lawyer for Dino Scala
at france info
Blandine, she was not particularly surprised by the revelations about the accused’s double life. “He can not be the only one like that. He’s a crank, that’s all.”, she’s thinking. Today, she no longer wants to “to see oneself as a victim” and will invite the other women to do the same on June 24 during her testimony before the Assize Court. And facing the quay where Dino Scala will be.