French police arrest three over online porn violence


A French Police car patrols in Paris, France. French police arrested three men in Paris on Sept 27 as part of an investigation into violence and human trafficking in France’s pornography industry. — AP

PARIS: French police arrested three men in Paris on Sept 27 as part of an investigation into violence and human trafficking in France’s pornography industry, sources close to the case told AFP.

Described by the sources as actors linked to the video platform French Bukkake, the men were ensnared in a wider probe into human trafficking, gang rape and pimping that was opened in October 2020.

Twelve men who worked as actors, directors or producers on the so-called “amateur” porn scene already face prosecution in the case around French Bukkake. Most are in custody awaiting trial.

Among them are well-known producers using the aliases “Pascal Op” – the owner of French Bukkake – and “Mat Hadix”.

The case has reached a scale rarely seen in France, with more than 40 alleged victims joining as civil plaintiffs alongside activist groups.

Police came to doubt whether young women depicted in the films had really given consent for the sex acts shown on camera, as they could be heard protesting against what was being done to them in some scenes.

Investigators believe the women, many of them poor and from unstable backgrounds, were lured into participating under false pretences and were told the videos would only be accessible on private Canadian websites.

In fact, the films were viewable in France and the producers demanded large sums of cash from the women to remove them – only for the images to continue to circulate online.

Four men were questioned by police in June this year in a separate case opened in 2020 over the amateur porn site Jacquie et Michel, including the site’s owner, Michel Piron.

They are suspected of pimping, organised human trafficking, rape and accessory to rape, and rape involving torture.

Major porn companies including Jacquie et Michel and Dorcel have since announced ethical guidelines meant to prevent abuses.

A group of French women senators will on Sept 28 present a report into the country’s porn industry.

“The rapporteurs will present the dark picture that their work has uncovered.

“They plan to alert the government and public opinion about the violence committed and disseminated on a massive scale by the pornography industry,” the senators said in a statement announcing the report.

France’s media regulator Arcom has been seeking to block access to porn sites unless they put in place age-verification mechanisms that prevent them being viewed by children.

A court rejected the blocking order in early September and suggested mediation. – AFP

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