In Lyon, the trial of the former vice-prosecutor of Nîmes, tried for domestic violence

Domestic violence spares no social environment. Most often denounced by women, frequently denied or minimized by the alleged perpetrators, they operate from one social cl to another, with variable words but similar mechanisms. The pattern was reproduced at the hearing of the Lyon criminal court, Monday September 11, in an exceptional configuration. Patrick Bottero, 42, a professional magistrate, is on trial for “spouse violence”, while he held the position of deputy prosecutor at the Nîmes public prosecutor’s office, when the alleged facts took place, between September and December 2019.

Tall, strong, with rectangular gles and a trimmed beard, the defendant stands askew at the stand, feet crossed, one hand on the microphone, the other in the pocket of his faded jeans, a nonchalant attitude that he could have blamed on those he accused, at the time when he was nicknamed “Severator” in the Gard region, for its supposed ease in referring suspects. Public function and private life are inextricably intertwined in this trial carefully orchestrated by Marc-Emmanuel Gounot, sole judge of the 7e correctional room.

Navy blue suit, knotted hands and voice, Alicia (the first name has been changed), 25 years old, painfully exposes the authoritarianism, the insults and the humiliations suffered in the privacy of her couple, while the magistrate gave the image of a competent professional, appreciated by his superiors, quick to reprimand the perpetrators of domestic violence, in harmony with the penal policy of the moment. Seduced by the istant prosecutor while she was an intern at the courthouse, the young woman describes a companion exploding with anger, hitting the walls or the steering wheel of the car, before apologizing and promising to move on. “Each time we were caught up. A period was going well, with beautiful words… at one point there was a click, he became another man. It was constantly hot and cold,” reports the young woman, describing “his jaw clenched”her ” blank stare “.

Simultaneous connections

A description of male control that has been heard a thousand times. “Always threats, I had no right to leave him, I was his thing”, she said, explaining that the professional status of her partner reinforced this sentimental trap. An only child pampered by her parents, Alicia was able to give in to “tutelary and dominant figure”, explains his psychological expertise. The young woman details ten scenes of severe violence: neck squeezed, slap, breast pinched, finger twisted, arms compressed. Including an episode in the prosecutor’s office.

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