The prosecution of Évry (Essonne) told AFP on Friday that it had opened several investigations for rape in four large schools located on the Saclay plateau, in Essonne south of Paris, after having received “several complaints”.

“Speech was released” in “closed places where it was difficult to speak and be heard because it was necessary to preserve the reputation of the establishments”, welcomed the prosecutor of the Republic Caroline Nisand, who opened surveys at CentraleSupélec, the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Polytechnique and the Institute of Optics.

Among these investigations for rape, three were entrusted to judges: one at CentraleSupélec and two at ENS.

The plaintiffs are all students, who denounce recent events that have taken place in recent years, and the suspicions relate to other students: there is, “at this time, no relationship of authority” between the complainants and the suspects, specifies the prosecutor.

The magistrate underlined “a dynamic” of freedom of speech which contributed to “breaking self-censorship” and “lifting the omerta which reigned on the campus” of Saclay, located in the Paris suburbs.

“It is encouraging that the victims dare to speak out and file a complaint. It is up to justice to do its job”, commented to AFP the prestigious École Polytechnique nicknamed in France “l’X”.

– Where to shock –

The magistrate believes that the floor was able to be released from the distribution of an internal questionnaire from the CentraleSupélec engineering school, which had revealed a hundred acts of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape over the year. university.

The results of this internal investigation had been reported by the school management to the prosecutor of Évry, who then opened a preliminary investigation in October 2021 and went to the establishment to discuss with the students gathered in a full amphitheater, accompanied by the gendarmes.

“The results of this survey have stunned us,” said the school principal. “While we have been committed to the fight against gender-based and sexual violence for a long time, we were far from taking the exact measure,” he added.

Now, two investigations are underway at CentraleSupélec, following two complaints of rape: one led by the prosecution and the other entrusted to an investigating judge.

Similar revelations had marked Polytechnique, where the management “in shock”, had reported to justice the results of an internal questionnaire. According to this questionnaire, one in four students surveyed said they had been the victim of sexual assault in their schooling and eleven students said they had been victims of rape or attempted rape. The prosecution had opened an investigation in April.

To date, the Évry prosecution has three preliminary investigations in progress, following two complaints of rape at Polytechnique and a report.

Two investigations at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) were also entrusted, in early June, to judges for rape and sexual assault, following two complaints.

A preliminary investigation is underway at the Institut d’Optique for rape and sexual assault.