A young black man allegedly sodomised with a truncheon by French police is incontinent and will need lifelong medical care, according to a doctor’s report submitted to a judge investigating the case.
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Four policemen have been charged over the 2017 assault of Théo Luhaka, 22, in the mainly immigrant Paris suburb of Aiulnay-sous-Bois, which has become a cause célèbre in France.
François Hollande, the then president, visited the youth worker and professional footballer in hospital amid accusations of police brutality and racism.
The medical report by a court-approved gastroenterologist concludes that Mr Lusaka’s injuries are “seriously life-changing” and he will be unable to resume his footballing career. The report said he was also psychologically traumatised and suffered from insomnia. He told the doctor that he no longer has a social life and passes the days watching television in his parents’ home.
The assault sparked furious protests in Paris. Rioters attacked a police station and torched dozens of cars in several Paris neighbourhoods.
One officer has been charged with rape and the other three with using excessive force. They claim the assault, during which Mr Luhaka alleged that a truncheon was forced into his rectum, was unintentional. They say the truncheon slipped into his anus accidentally. All four have been suspended.
Investigating judges have so far failed to find evidence to support Mr Luhaka’s claim that he was the victim of a deliberate sexual assault. Doctors said the truncheon had seriously wounded him on the edge of the anus.
Defence lawyers are therefore appealing for the rape charge to be dropped in favour of the lesser count of “deliberate violence causing permanent injury”, which would carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
The medical report said: “An improvement of the symptoms is possible with treatment… but this will be required for life, and the results may vary over time.” It warned that they could worsen.
According to the specialist, the healing of Mr Luhaka’s injuries was delayed because he failed to follow the full treatment prescribed. The “painful phase” could have been shortened but “this would not have altered the harmful consequences of the injuries”.