From our special correspondent in Strasbourg
From our special correspondent in Strasbourg
In his argument, Me Francis Metzger, one of Jean-Marc Reiser's lawyers, had asked the judges and jurors not to condemn his client to a
He was not heard.
This Tuesday, after less than three hours of deliberation, Jean-Marc Reiser was found guilty of the murder of the young Sophie Le Tan, on September 7, 2018 in Schiltigheim (Bas-Rhin).
The 60-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment, with 22 years of security, as required by the Advocate General.
Until the end, Jean-Marc Reiser denied any homicidal intent and any premeditation.
“There was no deliberate act on my part on the day of the events, nor in the previous days for that matter.
[...] In this fury, this violence, there was nothing premeditated.
[...] I am guilty of having caused the death of [Sophie Le Tan] even if I did not want it”
, he declared during a long monologue of almost ten minutes this Tuesday morning, when the President gave him the last floor.
I am presented as a monster that I am not
," insisted the accused, who denounced a
but praised the
of the victim's family.
“I know very well that they will never be able to forgive me.
I apologize to them but I know that anything I could say wouldn't change much.
I would react like them if it had happened to my daughter
,” he added.
During the hearing, the parents, brother and sister of the victim said they were
by the death of Sophie,
of this very modest family of Vietnamese origin.
A “date with death”
For seven days, the Bas-Rhin Assize Court immersed itself in the events of September 2018. At that time, Sophie Le Tan, in her second year of economics and management at the University of Strasbourg, was looking for accommodation .
While surfing on Le Bon Coin, she came across a classified ad for an apartment in Schiltigheim, a town near Strasbourg.
On the 4th, she comes into contact with the alleged lessor, with whom she exchanges by telephone and SMS.
On the morning of the 7th, Sophie Le Tan leaves the Strasbourg hotel where she works as a night receptionist in parallel with her studies and takes the direction of Schiltigheim.
But on this day of his twentieth birthday, it is an
"appointment with death"
that awaits him, according to the expression of one of his family's lawyers, Me Rémi Stéphan.
She will not come out alive from 1, rue Perle, home of Jean-Marc Reiser.
Read also Reiser trial: the “disintegrated” family of Sophie Le Tan
Very quickly, the student's entourage became worried.
It is not in the habits of Sophie, very close to her family, not to give news.
Especially since she had to go to Mulhouse after her real estate visit to celebrate her 20th birthday with her mother and sister.
His disappearance is reported to the authorities and the search begins.
on real estate advertisements and telephony, the investigators traced the trail of Jean-Marc Reiser, whom they arrested on September 15.
The man, then 57 years old, is not unknown to justice.
If he was acquitted in 2001 in the case of the disappearance of a young woman, Françoise Hohmann, he was sentenced two years later to 15 years' imprisonment for rape.
Released from prison in 2010, he worked for a few years before resuming studies in archeology and then in art history.
The suspect begins by asserting that he has
"nothing to do"
However, the missing woman's DNA is discovered at her home.
Read alsoReiser trial: the disturbing personality of the accused
On October 5, he modified his declarations.
On September 7, he would have met Sophie Le Tan whom he knew from university.
Injured in the hand, the latter would have asked him to come and heal his wound, which he would have accepted.
She would have gone up to her apartment, cleaned her wound in the bathroom and then left.
This version does not convince anyone, especially since a few months later, the DNA of the young woman is found on the handle of a hacksaw which was in the cellar of the respondent.
On October 23, 2019, part of the body of Sophie Le Tan was discovered by chance in the forest of Rosheim by a family in search of mushrooms.
Jean-Marc Reiser persists in denying having killed the young woman.
On January 19, 2021, it finally changes version.
He now explains that the student would have come to visit his apartment and would have used the toilet.
By bringing her a towel, he would have liked to
“give her a kiss”
and she would have
“misunderstood his intentions”
She would have insulted him, he would have slapped her, she would have started screaming.
"It was not a regrettable incident"
Jean-Marc Reiser would then have
“lost the pedals”
and would have punched and kicked the student, who would have fallen to the ground.
Noting her death, he would then have decided to dismember her, placing the pieces of her body in garbage bags and then in suitcases.
He would have stored the suitcases in the cellar for a few days, before hiding the body in the forest.
During the seven days of his trial, the defendant stuck to this version of "death blows".
For their part, the counsel for the Le Tan family and the Advocate General asserted their conviction that Sophie's death had been deliberate and premeditated.
"It was not a regrettable incident, as Jean-Marc Reiser said on Friday
," said the representative of the public prosecutor's office in particular in his indictment.
"It is indeed in a trap that she fell."
Read alsoReiser trial: the accused still denies homicidal intent
After hearing each of the parties as well as numerous experts and witnesses, the three judges and six jurors finally also considered that Jean-Marc Reiser had indeed murdered Sophie Le Tan.
And sentenced him to life imprisonment, with a 22-year security sentence.
The sexagenarian has ten days to appeal.