Bengaluru

French diplomat held on charge of raping his child

Pascal Mazurier (face covered) being taken in an autorickshaw after a medical test at the Bowring Hospital in Bangalore on Friday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash  

Pascal Mazurier, a French diplomat, was held by the police here on Thursday evening on charges of raping his three-and-half-year-old daughter. A deputy head of chancery in the Consulate of France here, the 39-year-old diplomat was let off on Friday under circumstances that are yet to be officially explained by the police.

He was detained on the basis of a complaint filed on Thursday by his wife, Suja Jones Mazurier (37), a native of Kerala. Ms. Mazurier's complaint was accompanied by a medical report from the Collaborative Child Response Unit (CCRU) of the Baptist Hospital here. The report said she bore tell-tale marks of sexual abuse and traces of semen. Ms. Mazurier's complaint also alleged that this was not the first time the child had been abused by the father.

The police, however, refused to register an FIR against the diplomat and demanded “clinching evidence” that the act was committed by him, alleged Geetha Menon, lawyer representing the victim. Finally on Friday noon, the FIR was registered under Section 376 of the IPC at the High Grounds police station.

Subsequent tests conducted on the child at the State-run Bowring Hospital on Friday afternoon confirmed sexual abuse. Hospital sources said that samples collected from the child had been sent to the forensic lab. However, forensic experts at the hospital said that it might be difficult to link the rape to the father since too much time had elapsed.

Although Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravikanthe Gowda claimed that the diplomat was neither arrested nor detained against his wishes, The Hindu independently established through multiple sources that Mr. Mazurier was in fact picked up in a police jeep from his residence on Thursday evening and taken to the High Grounds police station.

Police sources said that they had no option but to let him off after a senior Consulate official submitted a letter seeking Mr. Mazurier's custody until forensic evidence proved the rape. The senior diplomat assured the police that he would not let Mr. Mazurier leave the country during investigation, the sources said.

The complaint, a copy of which was marked to the Ambassador of France in India, details the events leading up to the June 13 rape. Ms. Mazurier said she suspected that her husband had been abusing their daughter since April 2010, but did not pursue legal action for want of evidence.

Over the two years since then, she found several indicators which suggested that the child had been sexually abused, but when she brought it up with her husband he would brush it aside.

Based on these suspicions, Ms. Mazurier had taken her daughter for several sessions with a doctor working with a Bangalore NGO, Enfold India. On June 5, the doctor had reported to her that the child's reactions indicated that she was being physically and sexually abused.

On June 13, even as her child was being allegedly sexually abused, the mother was away from home, consulting doctors and activists. When she returned, she saw the child crying and the domestic help told her that her husband had been in their bedroom with their daughter for a considerable length of time, the complaint stated.

Ms. Mazurier alleged that she herself had been a “victim of severe domestic violence”.

The couple have three children, a seven-year-old boy, the alleged victim, and a 20-month-old toddler.

Mr. Mazurier, being an employee of the French consulate, senior officials from the consulate were seen at the High Grounds police station.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 8:49:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/french-diplomat-held-on-charge-of-raping-his-child/article3531968.ece

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