An osteopath from Pontarlier, France, has been charged with seven rapes and 19 sexual assaults on patients, Besançon prosecutor Etienne Manteaux told us on Friday.
The 32-year-old denies the allegations against him. The public prosecutor’s office had requested a hearing before the criminal court of the Doubs department, the prosecutor said.
For the first time in 2018, the Pontarlier police station received two complaints. Two new complaints were filed in 2019, followed by 15 in 2020. In all, the justice system has identified 19 complaints so far, including seven alleging rape, with some victims claiming to have suffered acts of sexual penetration.
“The 32-year-old osteopath is accused of committing seven rapes and 19 sexual assaults on 19 different patients and directly denies all the allegations made against him by his own patients.” But in the light of this file, the Besançon prosecutor concluded that there were enough charges against this osteopath,” said Mr. Manteaux.
“Facts came at a moment of astonishment when the applicants could no longer distinguish between the therapeutic aspect and the sexual violence,” the prosecutor said. This explains why they revealed the facts only after these osteopathic sessions.
The decision of the investigating judge on a hearing before the department’s criminal court should be made “by the end of the summer”, specified Mr. Manteaux.
Not all of the plaintiffs have filed civil complaints and some will testify at later proceedings.
The osteopath was placed under judicial supervision. He is forbidden to practice his profession and perform in Pontarlier.