French police use social media app to rescue captive teenager

A police spokesman said on Sunday evening that the police used the app’s GPS tracking system. — AFP

With the help of the social media app Snapchat, police officers in the southern French city of Marseille rescued a teenager who was being held captive.

A police spokesman said on Sunday evening that the police used the app’s GPS tracking system. The teenager was injured, he said, and French media reported that the girl was raped several times.

The two men who were in the flat with the 14-year-old were taken into police custody and investigations were started by the authorities, broadcaster France 3 said, citing the public prosecutor's office in Marseille.

According to reports, the girl from the Ardèche department ran away from home. On Friday morning, the teenager, who was locked up, contacted her family, who then alerted the police.

The girl herself did not know where she was. As reported by BFM TV news channel, she is now back with her family.

According to the France Bleu radio, the two arrested men denied having held the girl. They also said that the sexual contact was consensual and that they did not know the age of the girl.

Consent to sexual practices cannot, in principle, be given under the age of 15 in France. Adults who engage in a sexual relationship with children under this age are punishable. – dpa

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