Le Havre: five complaints of sexual assault filed by supporters after pat-downs at the entrance to the stadium

Five complaints of sexual assault were filed with the Le Havre public prosecutor's office by supporters of RC Lens and LOSC following security searches at the Le Havre stadium, before Ligue 1 matches on October 1 and 20, France Bleu Normandie has learned Tuesday, November 21 from the prosecution

Le Havre: five complaints of sexual assault filed by supporters after pat-downs at the entrance to the stadium

Five complaints of sexual assault were filed with the Le Havre public prosecutor's office by supporters of RC Lens and LOSC following security searches at the Le Havre stadium, before Ligue 1 matches on October 1 and 20, France Bleu Normandie has learned Tuesday, November 21 from the prosecution.

After the arrival of RC Lens then LOSC at the Océane stadium in Le Havre in October, “the Le Havre police station received five complaints for sexual assault filed several days, even several weeks after the match,” declared to Agence France- Press (AFP) Bruno Dieudonné, public prosecutor of Le Havre, adding that “two other complaints are in the process of being forwarded”.

The complaints were filed “mostly by RC Lens supporters, plus one from a Lille supporter” an investigation was opened “on the grounds of sexual assault” announced Mr. Dieudonné.

Touching during searches denounced

The five complaints all target "the same person, a security guard responsible for security pat-downs on female supporters", according to the prosecutor, specifying that this employee "had never been talked about until then". The complainants reported searches "felt invasive, suggesting touching of the chest and genitals", but it will be necessary to "demonstrate sexual assault, and in particular an intentional element", he added.

The hearings of stadium staff have not yet taken place, according to the public prosecutor, who says he knows, "and it is an open secret that to introduce prohibited objects we use more females than men ".

The Le Havre club explained that the pat-down is carried out by its agents, but that it is “carried out in the presence of Lensois stewards [it is the visiting clubs which manage the parking of visitors, even if it is the locals who manage control of the tickets and pat-downs] and police officers”, and “that no comments were reported” on the searches.

“This is the first time that the stewards have been implicated, and the person responsible for the pat-down has never been singled out before,” according to the communication from the Havre Athletic Club. The club did not wish to “question the system”, already tested in Ligue 2 without incident.