French consular official to face trial in sexual assault case

Bangalore, Jan 7 : A local court has ordered framing of charges against French consular official Pascal Mazurier and his trial for the alleged sexual assault of his minor daughter.

"Session Court for Offences against Children judge Shubha Gowdar Monday ordered that there is sufficient material for framing charges against the accused (Mazurier) and to go for trial in the sexual assault case," special public prosecutor B.T. Venkatesh told IANS Tuesday.

Gowdar posted the case Jan 24 for framing of charges against Mazurier.

Mazurier, 40, who is on bail in the sexual abuse case, filed an application in the session court seeking an order to discharge from the criminal case on the grounds of insufficient evidence against him.

"We, however, argued that there is a prima facie case against the accused to prove his involvement in the course of the trial," Venkatesh said.

S. Mahesh, counsel for the accused, argued that the DNA test of the father and the four-year-old child did not match and projected that it was a one-off incident of sexual assault.

"Our contention was that the allegations of sexual assault and sodomy were over a period of time and the DNA report was inconsequential," Venkatesh said.

"I am deeply disappointed with the order. I will seek justice in a higher court," Mazurier told IANS later.

The criminal case was filed by the consular's estranged Indian wife Suja Jones.

Mazurier was arrested June 19, 2012 after police registered a case against him June 15, 2012 under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by Jones accusing him of abusing their four-year-old child and alleging domestic violence against her.

The Karnataka High Court, however, granted him bail Oct 12, 2012 while the criminal case was pending in the session court for trial.

In a related development, Mazurier sought the help of a city-based NGO Crisp to meet his two sons, aged eight and three, who are in their mother's custody here.

"As the two sons are not witness in the case, they should be allowed to meet their father and grandmother Jacqueline Maille," said Crisp founder Kumar Jahgirdar.

--IANS (Posted on 07-01-2014)

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