BARLAMAN TODAY
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Revisiting Jacques Bouthier’s Case

Much ink has been spilled over the scandal implicating French Jacques Bouthier. The former boss of “Assu 2000” is accused of statutory rape, and human trafficking in France and in Morocco.

Bouthier, aged 76, quit his job after his sexual perversion came to light. In March 2022, investigations into the man’s crimes started as five plaintiffs came forwards and filed complaints. The accusations were substantial: sexual assault against a minor, child prostitution, possession of child pornography and rape, according to local media which had quoted legal sources.

Concurring reports said that a young woman, aged 22 at that time, claimed that Bouthier was holding her captive over the past five years to enact his sexual fantasies. The victim said that, when she grew too old for the predator’s taste, she was forced to find a replacement: a 14y old teenager representing the ideal profile for the man.

More victims testified to the same, bringing down a hidden network, headed by Bouthier and including eight other members.

As the company has a branch in the northern city of Tangier named “Vilavi”, the affair’s aftershocks were felt in Morocco. Several female workers, who were employed by the multinational, pressed charges of sexual harassment that took place over the period of 2018-2022. Incarcerated in France, legal proceedings were not initiated against Bouthier in Morocco.

Suddenly, and out of the blue, Bouthier was released, under court supervision, over medical grounds. The ruling sparked outrage, especially in Morocco where protesters staged a sit-in in front of the French embassy to denounce such unfair sentencing. They carried banners reading “the French justice is violating the rights of sexual abuse victims” and “No to protecting rapists”. Lawyer Aicha Guella, also chairperson of the Moroccan Association of Victims’ Rights (AMDV), said that this is a travesty of justice in a country respecting the rule of law. She vowed to lodge complaints in France on behalf of three victims.

Amir Messadi, former CEO of the company’s Tangier branch, had taken the French leave after his boss was caught. Many are awaiting for the Moroccan-French legal cooperation committee to interfere. Others are threatening to bring the case before the EU justice. Meanwhile, a sex offender is on the loose.