Former U.N. Employee Convicted of Rape in Paris

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The New York Sun

PARIS — A former mechanic with a United Nations peacekeeping mission was convicted yesterday of raping African teenagers during his posting in Central African Republic and Congo.

A Paris court sentenced Didier Bourguet, 44, to nine years in prison for having committed about 20 rapes between 1998 and 2004, when he worked as a civilian U.N. employee.

State prosecutor Pierre Kramer, who had sought a 12-year sentence, criticized Mr. Bourguet for showing “the absence of compassion” for his victims — aged between 12 and 18 at the time of the rapes.

Mr. Kramer also lashed out at the defense team for arguing that the girls had consented to sexual activity, and citing a lack of oversight in the mission and the stresses of Mr. Bourguet’s life as an expatriate in a conflict zone.

Mr. Bourguet worked in Central African Republic between 1998 and 2000, then moved to Congo where he provided maintenance on the fleet of vehicles used by U.N. peacekeepers in the MONUC operation there.

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