‘I have nightmares… I can’t leave my house alone anymore’ — victim recounts rape by illegal African migrant on French television just days after attack

Claire’s brave testimony was broadcast to millions of viewers who praised her courage for speaking about the horrific ordeal, which occurred near her home in Paris on Saturday

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke

A young French woman who was strangled and raped by an illegal immigrant in Paris on Saturday afternoon has spoken about her horrific ordeal live on French television.

In a poignant testimony shared on Thursday’s broadcast of the TPMP talk show, the 27-year-old victim known as Claire admitted she has trouble sleeping and is scared to leave the house on her own after being subjected to a vicious sexual assault in the communal courtyard of her apartment building on rue Vézelay in the 8th arrondissement of the French capital.

“I struggled, I screamed, but no one heard me,” Claire told the show host. “He threatened me with death, and the only way to save my skin was to do what he wanted. My nightmare lasted 30 minutes,” she recalled.

A report by Le Figaro newspaper confirmed a homeless man of Central African nationality had been arrested for two counts of rape in Paris on Saturday, of which Claire was the second victim.

The suspect, born in 1998, first attacked a 19-year-old woman as she walked to work on rue Pierre Demours in the 17th arrondissement. He is accused of accosting his victim in the lobby of a building and forcing her to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint.

After fleeing the scene and roaming the streets for an hour and a half, the suspect targeted Claire as she returned home from a shopping trip, strangling her and pinning her to the ground where, again, he forced her to perform oral sex on him.

According to a police report, the attacker was spotted by a police patrol unit later on Saturday on Avenue des Champs-Élysées and was arrested. He was subsequently formally identified by one of his two victims.

Police sources also confirmed that the man had been living in France illegally and was subject to a deportation order, known as an obligation to leave French territory (OQTF). The Actu17 news site also confirmed he was already known to police for several previous convictions.

A statement by the public prosecutor’s office confirmed a man had been “indicted for rape with a weapon and for rape aggravated by the fact that it was committed in conjunction with another crime (the first rape).” He remains in pre-trial detention at Fleury-Mérogis prison in the southern suburbs of Paris.

“I have nightmares. I can’t sleep anymore… I can’t leave my house alone anymore,” Claire told TPMP.

Clips of the interview have gone viral on social media with hundreds of users commending her bravery for talking so openly about her ordeal, while a small minority have questioned the credibility of her testimony so soon after the attack.

In October last year, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed on live television that half of all crimes committed in Paris are by undocumented migrants.

“Yes, when we look at delinquency in Paris, we can see that half of the delinquent acts come from foreigners in an irregular situation or awaiting asylum approval,” Macron said, speaking in the wake of the brutal murder of a 12-year-old girl named Lola who was raped, had her throat slashed, and was stuffed in a suitcase by an Algerian migrant who was in the country illegally.

His remarks followed a similar admission from Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin who said last August: “48 percent of people arrested for acts of delinquency in Paris, 55 percent in Marseille, and 39 percent in Lyon are foreigners. In France, foreigners represent 7.4 percent of the population.”

“Of course, the foreigner is not by nature a criminal. But we have a problem with foreign delinquency,” he added.

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