Rarely have so many victims followed one another at the bar. This Thursday, the penultimate day of the trial of the man whom the police nicknamed “the rapist of the Sambre” was devoted to the indictments of the two general attorneys and the pleadings of the two defense lawyers. The assize juror must decide on Friday on the sentence to be applied to Dino Scala, accused of 56 rapes and sexual assaults and attempts, between 1988 and 2018.
Checkered gray shirt, still staring black, Dino Scala listened without batting an eyelid. At 61, his eyes tired, no doubt from three weeks of hearing at the Court of Assizes of the North, in Douai, the man still does not let out any sign of emotion. Unsurprisingly, the two general attorneys, Annelise Cau and Antoine Berthelot, in turn demanded the maximum sentence, namely 20 years’ imprisonment, for “all 56 facts”.
Inadequate law regarding rape
“The law is not adapted to cases of such sadistic deviance, because nothing concerns premeditation and serial acts in terms of rape, underlined Annelise Cau. For just one of these acts, Dino Scala was already facing 15 years in prison. So the debate focused on another issue: how many of the 56 plaintiffs will ultimately be recognized as victims at the end of this trial, the accused only confessing to 40 facts?
“He is trying to save what remains of his social facade by denying a third of the attacks,” laments the general counsel. This “elusive serial rapist”, this “soul reaper”, “has never stopped contradicting himself and lying”, she assures. For his part, Antoine Berthelot insists on “the geography and the tempo” of the facts which reflect a meticulous preparation and plead in favor of guilt on each file.
“He likes to spy, to spot. His hunting ground, he knows it like the back of his hand, he believes. About twenty municipalities, along the Sambre river. A territory of 90 km2”, calculated the Advocate General who affirms that “anyone who lived in this sector could have been spied on by Mr. Scala, for thirty years”.
“There are so many charges against him and his conviction is so certain. So why don’t we want to realize that he is sincere? “retorts Jeanne Peisel, one of Dino Scala’s lawyers. for her part, the other lawyer, Me Margaux Mathieu, instilled doubt by evoking “phantom suspects”.
“They exist, these dozens of people known to the police who have identical operating methods to Dino Scala and who raged at the same time and in the same sector”, recalls Me Mathieu who, like his colleague, asks that the accused or “condemned for the acts he committed and exonerated for those he did not commit”.
Will we ever know how many criminal acts Dino Scala is guilty of? “How could such a seemingly normal man, a devoted father, a helpful and almost idolized colleague, commit so many atrocities? », asks the Advocate General. “He has not said everything and remains a psychopathological mystery”, launches his colleague Antoine Berthelot.
Fourteen Sexual Assaults Reexamined
Because the expert psychiatrist, himself, has trouble identifying the personality. “Only his atypical form of sexual sadism disorder could have accounted for the alleged facts, but it is not likely to abolish or alter his discernment, he writes in his report. Anger against women undoubtedly remains a key to understanding. »
“Especially his mother whom he describes as a wicked expert-psychiatrist, advance Me Margaux Mathieu. During the trial, however, he never took refuge behind what he experienced during his childhood. When the lawyer speaks of this mother, Dino Scala’s eyes drop for the first time.
The verdict is expected Friday. But whatever it is, the public prosecutor has already planned to re-examine fourteen sexual assaults or rapes which “were left out” during the investigation. Which could augur another trial. “The accused admits twenty sexual assaults before what he calls his first rape in 1994, announces the general counsel. It’s still missing. »