Several hundred people gathered Saturday in Conches-en-Ouche (Eure) to pay tribute to Lisa, a three-year-old girl, who died in the town after alleged violence by her mother and stepfather.
"I have the impression that we are all living a nightmare," said Mayor Jérôme Pasco who spoke to the 400 to 500 people, families with children as well as single people, gathered in front of the steps of the town hall. Some had brought white roses that they then deposited in the garden next to the town hall.
The elected official paid tribute to the girl, her brother and her father and called for "ways to act to better protect our children, to better fight against domestic violence".
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The stepfather and mother of the girl were indicted and placed in provisional detention after the death Sunday of the child at the University Hospital of Rouen, after the intervention of the emergency services at the family home. She had multiple hematomas of different ages on "the face, the four limbs, the thorax, the back, the pubis", had specified the prosecutor of the Republic of Evreux Rémi Coutin and she "would not have been schooled the week before the tragedy".
School principal suspended
"Neither the gendarmerie, nor the justice, nor the child welfare services had been informed" of the "violence difficult to bear" suffered by the little girl, had added Rémi Coutin. The stepfather and mother were known to the courts. The director of the kindergarten, where the girl was enrolled in the middle section, was suspended as a precautionary measure.
"The executioners are not in our schools," said the mayor, "we all have a share of responsibility," he insisted. "How is it that in this city, they are able to call me when the neighbor's dog is shouting too loudly and I have never been warned of what was happening there?" said Jérôme Pasco before a minute of silence.
"We must be careful about the witch hunt, scapegoats," added Alexandre Rassaërt, president of the Eure department, on the sidelines of the ceremony. Sylvie Maurouard, 67, a resident of Goms, came "for contemplation. No one has ever reported anything, I don't understand," she said.