After 35-year-old Algerian migrant Ahmed Khalef was convicted of raping a woman who was waiting for a tram in the French city of Bègles, he argued that he is a “good person” and that he was “shocked” at the length of his prison sentence.
“I am a good person,” said Khalef in court. On Monday, April 24, the Assize Court of Gironde found him guilty of rape under the threat of a weapon and violence against a person holding public authority.
However, he claimed not to “understand anything. I am shocked to find myself here and in prison for 26 months when I came to France to build a future.”
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The case he was convicted for dates back to 2021. On Feb. 20 of that year, he approached a 20-year-old woman who was waiting for tram C at the Parc Mussonville stop in Bègles.
She became suspicious of the man and moved in front of the tram’s CCTV cameras, according to a report from French news outlet Sud Ouest. This did not deter Khalef, who pressed a knife into her back, dragged her into a park, and then proceeded to rape her by force.
Police had already been called to the scene after witnesses to the incident became concerned about the woman. The victim, who was in a state of shock, saw police walking with flashlights in the park and reported the incident to them.
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A little earlier, his attacker had already set his sights on two young 18-year-old passengers by groping them and insulting them in Arabic.
The police indicated that when they moved in to arrest the perpetrator, he began biting his tongue, spitting blood at them, and resisting arrest; he then hit an officer on his nose, resulting in an injury.
Khalef, who said he is an “only son” among seven sisters, told the court he is “a normal person” to whom his parents “gave a good education.”
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France has been beset with a number of public rapes by migrants in recent years, including the rape of 12-year-old Paris girl Lola by an Algerian migrant with deportation orders last year. In the same year, a Tunisian migrant raped an English tourist directly on a street in France. In August 2022, a North African migrant was arrested for raping an American tourist in a Paris public toilet while her partner waited outside. In October 2022, a Congolese migrant attempted to rape a 24-year-old French woman because he did not have enough money for a prostitute, telling police, “I wanted to have a beautiful White (woman).” Last month, Walid E. was accused of raping a 96-year-old woman in her own apartment.
Such cases have been seen across Europe, with Girogia Meloni posting a video of a migrant raping a woman directly on the streets of Italy in the middle of the day shortly before she was elected prime minister, which sparked international headlines.
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The dramatic increase in murders and rapes in recent years has coincided with a dramatic rise in immigration from North Africa, Africa and the Middle East. According to the French interior minister’s office, 48 percent of criminal acts in Paris are committed by foreigners, while this figure is 55 percent in Marseille.