They met her on Coco: 11 men aged 25 to 60 tried for having sex with a 14-year-old girl

They met her on Coco: 11 men aged 25 to 60 tried for having sex with a 14-year-old girl

Defendants had met the victim on the Coco site. Illustration MAXPPP – Bruno Levesque

The very controversial dating site Coco is at the heart of an unprecedented trial which was held before the criminal court of Valenciennes (North) this Thursday, April 25. 11 men, with very varied profiles and ages, were tried after having had sexual relations with a teenage girl aged only 14.

They met the teenager via Snapchat or via Coco, the controversial dating site which is at the heart of the news after the fatal beating of Philippe, suspected of pedophilia at the Grande-Synthe.

Many confess in the face of evidence. Few express regret. Six months in prison were required against ten of the eleven defendants tried Thursday in Valenciennes (North) for sexual relations with a teenage girl.

"I’had a lot of dark thoughts", said the youngest defendant, 25 years old, with sobs in his voice. He admits to several fellatios, but denies any vaginal penetration and any transaction, contrary to what the young girl claims.

Child pornography images were found on his computer. He mentions files "downloaded en masse" on the 'dark web' – – the hidden face of the internet–, the content of which he was unaware of. He knew the victim was a minor, but thought she was 16, not 14. "Why wouldn't I have believed her ?"

"She looks very young, she’s a child"

The victim's father – – does not present the audience– stares at him, black gaze, without a word. "At 14, she was 12", remembers this father who stands up straight. "She looks very young. She’s a child."

The prosecutor, Juliette Chopin, requested two years in prison including 18 months suspended for ten of the eleven defendants for "use of prostitution of a minor" or "sexual assault on a minor", which she asked to reclassify as "assault sexual assault on a 15-year-old minor.

She also requested 18 months suspended prison sentence for another defendant for "recourse to prostitution of a minor".

"In a fog"

All are also being prosecuted for "solicitation", "detention" and "acquisition" of a pornographic image of a minor. Eighteen months of suspended prison time are required for a 12th defendant, prosecuted for these facts alone.

Ms. Chopin underlined that the file had been the subject of a "correctionalization", rather than a trial at the assizes, avoiding more serious qualifications for the defendants, punishable by 20 years of imprisonment.

"I was not well, in a fog", remembers a fifty-year-old, whose tail red horse tends towards gray. Upon meeting the victim, he "gave him 16 years". But still let her give him a blowjob. "I did that to see if I could still please", assures another defendant, banker, 25 years old, who admits to sexual relations.

He wanted to know through these relationships if he was "still in love with his partner", with whom he is still in a relationship. "I want to advise everyone, if they see a psychologist who doesn't suit them, to go see another", he continues.

"This is the only advice you have to give ? And contact minors on social networks ?", retorts the teenager's lawyer, Me Grégory Frère.

Pimp baker

"I did something stupid", says another defendant, 47 years old. "But it’s not me who was hitting on her, it’s the opposite." He ends up ;apologies: "I hope she can rebuild herself and have a fulfilling life", he said, in a rare expression of regret.

All met the teenager on the internet, mainly on Snapchat and on the site, "known for promoting sexual relations between adults and minors& ;quot;, underlines the prosecutor.

Extremely varied profiles: 25 to 60 years old, here a Stellantis employee in Valenciennes, there a 27 year old baker who "does not deny&quot ; having been pimped via Snapchat, but denies any sexual relations with the teenager.

The investigation began when the parents of the teenager went to the Bouchain gendarmerie (North) in April 2023, worried about her absence, recalled the president of the court.

The teenage girl had run away

Found at the home of one of the defendants in Pas-de-Calais, she explained her escape by a "need to be alone", notably justified by his mother's alcoholism.

The investigation made it possible to identify exchanges with 54 accounts, in particular nude photos. The main events lasted from October 2022 to April 2023.

Another defendant already tried for "use of prostitution of a minor", was sentenced in February to two years in prison, including 18 months suspended.

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