Found guilty of having filmed under the skirts of three young women, Patrick T. appealed against this decision.
“One Friday evening, I was handing in research to my boss Patrick T. During my presentation, my eye was caught by some light. I looked and saw this phone, under my skirt.” On January 8, three young women told Chamber 10-2 of the Paris Criminal Court almost similar stories. Facing them, Patrick T., who appeared for “invasion of privacy” and “voyeurism”, strongly contested these statements. This Thursday, July 8, the three judges decided: Patrick T. was given a one-year suspended prison sentence, as requested by the prosecution. His lawyers immediately announced their intention to appeal.
This whole affair took place within a prestigious Parisian law firm, of which Patrick T. was one of the partners until October 2019. In August of that year, the firm welcomed among his summer interns a young woman named Rym K. According to the latter, on August 2, Patrick T. would have proposed a meeting to discuss his academic and professional projects. During the meeting, he would have asked her to come to the other side of his office to type on her computer herself the name of the master she intended to integrate at the start of the school year.
“I refused once, then I told myself that I was going to do it even if I thought it was weird. I walked around, he stepped back. As I bent down, I heard the sound of the start of a video. I know this noise very well, I’m from generation Z, I’m not mistaken about it… I turned around, I saw him with his arms outstretched between my legs with his phone facing the ceiling. I was completely taken aback. I drifted off. When I heard the second end of video sound on iPhone, I pulled myself together”says Rym K., who leaves the office of Patrick T. and immediately denounces the facts.
During the ensuing investigation, two young women, former employees of the firm, report having experienced very similar scenes in March and August 2014. “When I quit in 2014, after telling a few people the facts, my idea was to leave and have peace. When I was contacted again in 2019, I felt the duty to testify in support of Rym.explains Alice P., voice trembling. “I know what I went through, I said it from day one. My truth never moved a thread. I’m here to tell the truth and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”adds Elodie P.
“I am completely innocent”
For his part, Patrick T. denies the facts. “I am completely innocent”he repeated on January 8, during the first hearing, then on January 1er July, during the second. Supported by several of his colleagues and collaborators, six of whom testify at the helm “never to have noticed any inappropriate gesture” at home, he shouts at the plot orchestrated by his former cabinet to harm him. “Of course there is some kind of cabal against me!”he says, referring to a “particularly hostile climate”and in particular fierce competition between the firm’s two employment law teams.
The lawyer’s defense also raises a point which gives rise to interminable debates and even leads to the interruption of the hearing on January 8 and its adjournment on January 1.er July: the question of the photos or videos allegedly taken by the defendant during the alleged events. No incriminating files were found on Patrick T.’s 2019 phone – the 2014 phone, “fall in the water”, is unusable. However, expert appraisals have not ruled out a potential erasure of data. A “alphanumeric break” was thus identified.
In her indictment, the prosecutor retains the “precise, constant and repeated statements by the three young women”which is also based, according to it, on “a constellation of elements of context” – and in particular the testimony of a man who claims to have seen on the defendant’s telephone the obviously stolen photo of a woman’s cleavage. Denouncing a “real modus operandi” and “unworthy acts”the magistrate requires a one-year suspended prison sentence, as well as obligations of care and compensation for the civil parties, against Patrick T.
“There is no evidence in this case. […] An accusation cannot be evidence, we cannot be satisfied with that, and therefore you will release Patrick T.replica Mand Jacqueline Laffont, defense lawyer alongside Mand Christian Charrière-Bournazel. The final word goes to the defendant, who “strongly reaffirms” not “not to have committed the acts which [lui] are blamed”. “I experience this as an injustice, and my family, my wife also suffer this injustice by ricochet”concludes Patrick T. A week later, however, the court agreed with the plaintiffs by sentencing the lawyer to a one-year suspended prison sentence.