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Woman who killed rapist husband goes on trial in France

France: A French woman goes on trial on Monday for the murder of her stepfather, who abused her for years before becoming her spouse and pimp. Thousands of people have signed a petition, calling for her release, demonstrating the power of women’s rights advocates to mobilize against male violence.

Valerie Bacot, 40, said in her book titled ‘Everybody Knew’ that she ‘had to put an end to it,’ adding, ‘I was afraid, all the time.’

Bacot was 12 years old when her mother’s lover, Daniel Polette, raped her for the first time. Polette was 25 years her senior. He was sentenced to prison, but upon his release, he returned to his serial rapes.

Bacot became pregnant at the age of 17, was kicked out of her family by her drunken mother, and she moved in with Polette. Polette, who was also a heavy drinker, grew increasingly aggressive, at one time assaulted her with a hammer. ‘I wanted to keep my child. I had nobody. Where could I go?’ Bacot told the court.

Later, he ordered her to work as a prostitute for passing truck drivers in a Peugeot people carrier. Polette threatened to murder her if she refused, pointing a pistol at her many times, said the investigators. Bacot stated that she realized ‘this has to stop,’ when Polette began asking her 14-year-old daughter Karline about her developing sexuality. Bacot used the pistol he had hidden in the car, to kill him, with a single gunshot to the back of the neck, in March 2016, after he compelled her to suffer yet another sexual humiliation by a customer.

Two of Bacot’s four children assisted her in concealing the remains. She was detained in October 2017, confessed, and was freed a year later pending her trial while under judicial supervision.

Her attorneys said that “the tremendous abuse she had endured for 25 years, as well as the dread that her daughter might be next” drove her to murder Polette.

According to a judicial examination, Bacot was ‘certain that she needed to perform this crime to safeguard her children.’

More than 588,000 people have signed a petition requesting that Bacot, who faces life in prison for murder, be cleared of the charge. The trial at Chalon-sur-Saone, in central Burgundy, is expected to go until Friday.


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