“He placed both hands on my cheeks and kissed me on the mouth”: in Paris, the professor ordered to compensate his victims

“He placed both hands on my cheeks and kissed me on the mouth”: in Paris, the professor ordered to compensate his victims
“He placed both hands on my cheeks and kissed me on the mouth”: in Paris, the professor ordered to compensate his victims

Justice has ruled. Christophe K., a teacher since the 1980s in various primary schools in the capital, was found guilty on June 25 of sexual assault on minors by the 15th chamber of the Paris criminal court.

In delivering his verdict, the president of the court, Alice Perego, criticized him for having “inappropriate behavior towards your students likely to shock the children you were responsible for educating. You have caused trouble”. However, for seven of the civil parties in this case which included ten complainants, these gestures “ did not constitute a criminal offense”.

Emphasizing the absence of pedophilia and “low intensity gestures”the court on the other hand retained “the noted, detailed and precise statements of the complainants” to consider that there had indeed been an infringement, further judging that “the context of confusion maintained adds to the credibility of their words”. The culprit will have to pay 1,000 euros to each of them and pay their legal costs. The retired teacher is also banned from carrying out any activity in contact with minors.

“The feeling of being privileged, of being the one he had chosen »

Christophe K., however, did not seem to understand what he was accused of the day before at the hearing. Very tall, broad shoulders on a slender body, the former professor spent his time oscillating between negation and relativization. “ I had a positioning problem », he repeats on the stand to explain his behavior. If he admits that he was “a little too close” of his students, it is because that he “took them for [ses] children “.

But he never stopped denying the kisses on the mouth. “It’s not possible, when you kiss someone on the mouth it means there is love” he justified himself. To the lawyer for the civil parties, Maître Florence Loty-Porzier, who reminds him that during the confrontation with one of his former students, at the end of his police custody, he admitted the facts, he responds: “In the meantime I thought, I couldn’t do that. »

However, at the bar, the complainants came to repeat their testimonies. “He put both hands on my cheeks and kissed me on the mouth”tells the judges Ophélie V. She “remembers the smell of his perfume when he took us on his knees”, but also of its ” pride “ faced with this particular treatment, “the feeling of being privileged, of being the one he had chosene ».

Ariane B. also remembers kisses on the mouth in the morning, in the recess in the wall where he put his coat. “I was never physically constrained, but psychologically” explains the one who is now a young woman. The story dates back to the mid-90s, but its memories are “photographic”. « I’m a little angry. I don’t think it’s fair for people to say that what I’m saying isn’t true.” she exclaims in the face of Christophe K.’s denials.

Other witnesses also recounted how these buried, almost trivialized events came back to them when their own children entered school. It was with the prospect of the same thing happening to them that they took stock of what they themselves had suffered.

The “sliding prescription” to allow this trial

If these gestures that they had somewhat buried could be judged, it is thanks to the “sliding prescription”. Voted in 2021, this provision allows, when there is a non-prescribed case of sexual violence against minors, to also integrate the facts normally prescribed in the procedure. “This mechanism was provided for by the legislator because he considered that it was necessary to take into account the reiteration of the facts and prevent them from disappearing”recalled the prosecutor at the start of her pleading.

In this case, it was Cindy A.’s complaint, on facts dating from the early 2000s, which made it possible to go back in time. At the bar, the young girl in the flowered dress came again to tell how the man who was then a colleague of her mother, within the academic inspection, forced her to kiss her: “I was 7 or 8 years old when it happened. He asked me for a kiss. I said no. He said please. I said no again, but he kissed me and said, “You see, it’s nothing, but don’t tell your mother.”.

Beyond the kisses on the lips, the hearing was an opportunity to recall the context. “What emerges from the testimonies are your qualities as a teacher, the memory of someone very charismatic. But they all also mentioned abnormal and inappropriate behavior”, underlined the president of the court while recounting the elements of the investigation, carried out by the juvenile justice brigade. What emerges from these descriptions is the image of a very popular teacher, whom his students admire, to the point that some evoke “a kind of fascination”.

But Christophe K. is also very tactile, and puts no limits to the adoration of his students. He often kisses the cheek, has the habit of taking children on his lap and among the girls, he has his favorites, flattered as one can be at ten years old by this extraordinary attention from an adult. During the many green classes he organizes, he photographs his students in the shower and checks that everyone is soaped.

The objective, he explains, is to have images of all the moments of life for the slideshow intended for parents. But the girls, some of whom in these CM2 classes are beginning to be trained, all describe their embarrassment and unease at this violation of their privacy.

From Christophe K., we will also learn that he had a difficult childhood, with parents “ arrived penniless from Poland in 1957 ». After losing two children, her mother focuses on the youngest and neglects her eldest, who finds himself deprived of love and attention. The psychiatrist who examined him for the procedure mentions a “very locked personality, not very authentic” and emphasizes that he « seems to take everything lightly, without questioning himself”.

Above all, he was the subject of two previous proceedings for facts of the same nature, the first closed without further action and the second closed for “insufficiently characterized offense”. So many weak signals which did not lead to any reaction from National Education, and did not prevent him from peacefully pursuing a brilliant and acclaimed career there.

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