March 26, 2023

The four college students responsible for the death of young Lucas, 13, who committed suicide on January 7 in Golbey (Vosges) against a background of harassment linked to his homosexuality, will be tried in the spring by a judge for children. They incur up to 5 years in prison for minors, and a fine of 75,000 euros.

A terrible drama. Facing a wall of cameras and microphones, her voice repeatedly altered by emotion, Séverine responded for a good quarter of an hour to questions from journalists, massed in her lawyer’s office, on the death of her son. 13-year-old Lucas, who was educated in a college in Golbey (Vosges), and who killed himself on January 7.

In that case, four college students, also aged 13, will be tried in the spring for having harassed him and pushed him to suicide, the public prosecutor of Epinal, Frédéric Nahon, announced on Friday. He also announced the opening of an “incidental investigation against X for non-disclosure of ill-treatment of minors”.

5 years in prison and 75,000 euros fine

“Presumed innocent, unknown to justice, they will be assessed by the judicial protection of youth before their trial,” said the prosecutor. They will be tried “in the spring” and “in camera” before a children’s judge, said Me Faivre, the lawyer for Lucas’ mother, who warned that his client, under intense media “pressure”, will not would speak more publicly until the hearing.

The penalties incurred in this type of case are normally 10 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros, but the four perpetrators benefit from the “minority excuse”, and the penalties incurred are thus halved, said Me Faivre. .

However, because of their young age, it is likely that the sentences given to these children will be rather socio-educational, with internships, psychological monitoring, as well as other educational sanctions provided among a whole range of sanctions intended for young teenagers who naturally cannot be judged as adults.

The teaching body on the dock

“Things were not done, the teaching body could have”, should have “done more”, she added. She would thus have liked that “disciplinary” measures be taken much earlier against the stalkers of her son. Séverine, however, called not to attack them, believing that this would amount to “feeding hatred. Justice must do its job”.

“It’s still kids,” she said. But “I still have to blame them, my son is no longer there” because they “were mean to him,” she added, her voice choking with emotion. Despite everything, she reached out to them, hoping that their appearance in court would make them “think about it” and that they “don’t start again”.

She thus explained that she wanted in the future intervene in schools to raise awareness against bullying. “When we go to do interventions, let them (the four teenagers, editor’s note) come with us, it might be good for them to intervene with us”, to explain the consequences of what “they did”, a- she still felt. “If I could help others, with their own feelings, it would be one more victory, a step forward to make everyone think,” added Séverine.

A white march organized in Épinal

A white march in tribute to Lucas will be held Sunday in Epinal, she also announced. “It’s our way of honoring” Lucas and “keeping him alive,” she explained.

The death of the teenager, who had indicated in his diary his desire to end his life, had caused great emotion and triggered many reactions on social networks.

“I am thinking of all students like him who are harassed: their despair is the basis of my determination to prevent all forms of harassment,” Education Minister Pap Ndiaye said on Twitter. “No child should find suicide as the ultimate outcome,” he was moved.

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