French abuse trial ends with jail for some, grief for others [France]

SAINT-OMER (France) July 2 – In a child abuse trial that shocked France, a jury on Friday handed down a handful of tough sentences but acquitted seven of the 17 defendants, leaving as many questions about false allegations as about those that were proven. Thierry and Myriam Delay – the couple at the center of the scandal in the northern town of Outreau – were sentenced respectively to 20 and 15 years in prison on multiple counts of rape and renting out their own four sons for sex.Eight other defendants also received prison time or suspended sentences, but seven of those accused in connection with allegations of gang rape on more than a dozen French children were cleared of all wrongdoing, some of them after spending three years in jail and seeing their lives blighted. “This must not happen again,” French Justice Minister Dominique Perben said Friday in a rare reaction, expressing regret for the suffering of those who were acquitted – six of whom spent up to three years in preventive detention…..

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