French police officers (symbolic image)
Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP
In Strasbourg, investigators have doubts about a student's statement that she was sexistically insulted and beaten by three men for wearing a mini skirt.
The investigators announced on Thursday evening that despite extensive investigations, neither witnesses had reported nor the evaluation of surveillance cameras had confirmed the incident.
In addition, the student had given contradicting information.
The young woman had stated that she was sexistically insulted by three young men in downtown Strasbourg at the end of September for wearing a mini skirt.
This would have instructed them to look down and be silent.
Two of the men then held her and the third hit her in the face.
Around 15 passers-by observed the incident without intervening.
According to the television broadcaster BFM-TV, the investigators evaluated more than 40 hours of video material from 26 surveillance cameras located near the alleged crime scene.
In the pictures, however, there were neither the student nor men who corresponded to her description.
A local politician from Strasbourg told France 3 that there was no surveillance camera that could film the exact scene of the crime.
Therefore, no conclusions could be drawn from the existing videos.
The investigators also have doubts for another reason: the young woman's cell phone was logged in near her place of residence at the time in question - and not at the alleged crime scene.
During a further interrogation, she stated that she may have made a mistake in the location of the attack.
The case of the 22-year-old had made waves in France after the woman posted pictures of her swollen face on online networks and gave a television interview.
A government spokesman spoke of a "very serious" act.
The assistant minister in the Ministry of the Interior and ex-State Secretary for Equality, Marlène Schiappa, traveled to the city immediately.
There she spoke with representatives of the police and the prefecture about better protection for women.
A political agenda?
As has since become known, the student belongs to a vigilante watch organized on Facebook called "Stras Défense" (Defense of Strasbourg).
According to her own statements, she mobilizes against attacks on women.
The daily newspaper "Liberation" describes the group as right-wing.
The woman is one of the moderators of the Facebook group.
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jpz / AFP