Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

Victim of alleged French police rape thanks supporters

By The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — The lawyer for a young black man who says he was raped by French police with a baton in a Paris suburb said Friday that his client is still waiting for justice.

The 22-year-old man, identified publicly only by his first name, Theo, left the hospital Thursday and thanked supporters from around France and abroad.

The notes and visits "helped me hang on ... made it possible for me to be here among you today," he said in a Facebook video.

Theo is "becoming a symbol," his lawyer, Eric Dupond-Moretti, told The Associated Press on Friday — a young, black man working as an educator in a poor neighborhood northeast of Paris who stood up against police violence.

Theo says he is still not healed after the alleged rape Feb. 2 during an identity check in his hometown of Aulnay-sous-Bois.

"Thanks to God, I walked out (of the hospital) on both my legs. When I was admitted, I was in a wheelchair and in very bad shape.... I will get some rest and will try to keep you informed," he said in his video.

Four officers have been charged, one with rape, three other with aggravated assault. They all deny intentional wrongdoing.

A video online apparently showing Theo's arrest prompted widespread anger. The incident was followed by a week of protests in suburbs around Paris, many degenerating into violence.

"He's a young man who is asking for justice to be done. He has been asking for no riots, that everybody stay calm. His family said this too. But of course they are people who are really asking and waiting for justice," Dupond-Morreti said.

2017-02-17 16:49:41 GMT

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