French Man Charged with Abusing 4 Migrant Minors*
Greek police say they have arrested a 52-year-old French man on suspicion of sexually abusing four Pakistani boys he had sheltered in his home in the northern city of Thessaloniki.
Police said Wednesday the man was arrested Tuesday. He allegedly abused the boys, aged 14-17, in January after offering them housing as they were homeless.
According to police, the man presented himself as a volunteer to various organizations helping refugees. One of the boys was later housed in a shelter for young migrants and told staff about the abuse.
Police confiscated six hard drives and one USB stick from a search of the man’s home, as well as unspecified drugs. The man appeared in court and has been charged with sexual abuse and possession and use of drugs.
Everything started when the 52-year-old offered to put up unaccompanied minors, providing them with food and shelter, through an acquaintance working with a refugee and migrant hospitality centre in the Thessaloniki area. He subsequently hosted a succession of four teenage boys, aged between 14 and 17, in his home.
During that time, he also contacted a non-governmental welfare organisation involved in the support of children and young people, requesting legal aid regarding the residence status of the unaccompanied minors in his care and their right to stay in Greece.
When a child psychologist from the NGO contacted one of the refugee children, the boy revealed that he did not wish to return to the 52-year-old’s home because he did not feel comfortable there. He confided that the suspect gave him pills, saying they were treatment for itching, that made him lethargic and sleepy. The older man apparently committed the lewd acts when the boy was drugged in this way, while similar claims have been made by the other three boys that stayed with him.
The organisation then notified the police, who conducted a raid on the French man’s home on Tuesday and, in additional to the narcotic pills, also confiscated six hard disks and a digital data storage device that were sent to police labs for further investigation.