“No parents are prepared to hear this kind of condemnation, nor are they trained to collect this kind of speech. It is their world that is collapsing,” Mr Tastet continues.
There is one before and one after December 28, 2016, the date on which the first complaint was filed. Before, there were little girls ages 3 and 4 growing up around the Arcachon Basin, “full of life” and “playing,” describes Me Marie Tastet, whose firm defended two families during the trial of the Gironde court.
“A little tornado”, another who only dreamed and talked about “princess dresses”, yet another who was spontaneous, liked to tell his little stories. Some were going to summer camp for the first time. “The aggressor deprived them of the innocence of childhood,” the lawyer sums up.
The revelation of facts took place through various channels. One little girl confided in her mother, another in her sister in the parent car, other victims were identified by the author himself and others found by the investigation. “No one is prepared to hear this kind of condemnation or trained to collect this kind of speech. It is their world that is collapsing,” Mr Tastet continues.
The case was made public, other parents were afraid of getting involved. Between doubt and horror, anger and energy of despair. Everyone reacted as best they could to this earthquake. “But all parents believed in their children,” asks Marie Tastet. So much so that some went to the author to avenge their daughter. »
However, parents whose children had not said anything quickly found the connection to their child’s behavior change. “Swinging, withdrawal, anxiety or even night terrors, sore throat”, lists Me Tastet. They were far from imagining what deep afflictions their children were struggling with. ‘A psychologist explained that regardless of the legal nature of the act, once there has been sexual intervention, there is an impact on the child under construction. »
“Despite themselves, the parents were trained, taken in the procedure,” explains Me Marie Tastet. The police station, the medical examinations, the agreements with the psychologist, with the lawyers, the revelation of even more serious facts. “The investigation was long, the case had twists, it seemed endless to them. They took it very badly ‘.
“The debates are heavy, close. The trial was for them like a washing machine, from which they writhed. “
Everyone had a great sense of powerlessness over the slowness of justice and guilt for having handed over their innocent children to the accused. Some parents never talked about it again and preferred not to know the details. Others went through the entire file and found that they were as close and faithful as possible to what their child had experienced. “Some have undergone the procedure,” emphasizes Me Tastet. But if they put a handkerchief on what had happened, it was also to protect their children ”. Until the trial.
“The trial was certainly expected, but above all feared,” argues Me Marie Tastet. Should you tell the girls or spare them? Should we behave “as if” in the evening on returning home? How should we react to the accused who continued to deny the rapes? “It was painful for the parents to review the recordings of the victims’ interviews. The debates are heavy, close. The lawsuit was for them like a washing machine, they wriggled out of, ”Me Marie Tastet can testify.
“There were five civic parties, but there could have been many more,” Me Tastet said. The other child witnesses in the playroom, shocked by what they should never have seen, but also the accused’s colleagues, who also blame themselves for not having discovered the attacker among themselves. This is the problem in this case: everyone feels guilty except the accused. »
“The children’s words and suffering were heard, that was what meant the most to them,” Me Tastet emphasizes. The decision, the verdict and especially the return to prison for the aggressor mitigated them. It did them good to say no during the trial. After all, these small victims remain ticking bombs, and some need long-term psychological follow-up. Weight gain or anorexia, onychophagy, damaged relationship with the father: the stigmata are already there. »