French girl raped, killed by 17-year-old

Published: 23 November, 2011 07:38 IST | Agencies |

France is reeling after a boy raped and murdered a 13-yr-old girl at a chic boarding school while conditionally freed on charges of rape a year ago

France is reeling after a boy raped and murdered a 13-yr-old girl at a chic boarding school while conditionally freed on charges of rape a year ago

The rape and murder of a 13-year-old schoolgirl has led to uproar in France after it was revealed that the alleged teenage killer was admitted to an up-scale boarding school despite a previous rape charge.

The burned body of Agnes Marin was found in woodland near the College-lycee Cevenol International in central France on Friday.

Tributes: A woman pays her respect to Agnes Marin at an informal
memorial placed around the town near the school. pic/afp

A 17-year-old boy, identified only as Mathieu, was arrested after he allegedly confessed to 'raping and burning' Agnes -- after luring her into woodland on Wednesday by suggesting they pick mushrooms together.

'More vigilant'
Investigating police have said the murder was particularly brutal, with the killer using a number of objects to kill Agnes.

But the girl's family, the French public and education and legal authorities reacted in horror when it was revealed Mathieu was conditionally freed on charges of rape less than a year ago.

He was jailed for the rape of a minor in 2010, released under supervision after four months. 

The Marin family have accused the school of knowing Mathieu's criminal history but allowing him to become a pupil anyway -- an allegation the school denies.

Agnes's devastated mother, Paola said that the murder "could have been avoided with a little less negligence", while father Frederic said, "The school should have been a bit more vigilant."

But the school, in Le-Chambon-sur-Lignon, is denying specific knowledge of Mathieu's past -- admitting that it knew of his criminal past but not what he was convicted of.

The school's head, Philippe Bauwens, said, "If I had known, I would not have accepted him in our establishment, because we're not equipped."

The school  said the tragedy was the result of failures in the legal system.

But prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat has defended the legal process, saying  psychiatric evaluations said Mathieu could be "rehabilitated and did not show signs of being dangerous".

Release conditions
Furthermore, the boy was set free under strict conditions - that he was treated by a psychiatrist, as well as a psychologist at the school.

Coquillat's comments suggested that the school -- at the very least the school-appointed psychologist -- must have had prior knowledge of Mathieu's history.

But Anne-Sylvie Debard, a member of the school's board of governors, said the problem lay with a lack of communication between state departments.

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