A gang of Moroccan migrants face trial in Rennes after being accused of robbing and sexually assaulting prostitutes in several cities across France.
The seven men, aged between 25 and 35, are said to have pretended they were clients of the prostitutes before robbing them and sometimes sexually assaulting and raping them.
The incidents are said to have occurred in Rennes, Brest, Quimper, Vannes, Angers, Le Mans, Strasbourg, and Metz, Le Télégramme reports.
Some of the suspects were accused of visiting prostitutes’ homes where they violently beat and raped the women.
The gang is said to have mostly met each other in Brest. Two of them had already been convicted of similar offences in Paris in 2018.
Nine Illegal Immigrants Arrested in Connection with Murder of Transsexual Prostitute in Paris https://t.co/QuY5QXWYRu
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According to investigators, the gang stole as much as 9,000 euros in a single night by robbing the prostitutes. However, the president of the court noted it would be difficult to get testimony from many of the victims, some of whom are likely to be illegal migrants. The trial is set to last until October 18th.
The case is not the first instance of migrant gangs extorting money from prostitutes in France. In Paris, three young migrants from Egypt were arrested earlier this year after robbing several transgender prostitutes in the Bois de Boulogne park, a hotspot for street prostitution.
The case came just months after police arrested nine illegal migrants in the French capital following the fatal shooting of South American transgender prostitute Vanesa Campos, born Victor Elias in Peru.
The migrant gang was well-known in Paris’s 16th arrondissement and had made a business of extorting and robbing both the street prostitutes and their clients. Investigators said, much like the Moroccan gang, they had also raped at least one of the sex workers.