Was Paris Home Invasion Rape a Hate Crime?
French police arrested two men who are suspected of racially motivated violence against a Jewish couple near Paris.
The assault occurred Monday in the suburb of Creteil, the Le Parisien daily reported Tuesday. Three men carrying weapons forced their way into an apartment where the parents of one of the victims live. Police do not have the third suspect in custody.
The alleged assailants separated the two victims, a 19-year-old Jewish woman and her 21-year-old Jewish partner.
One suspect raped the woman while another guarded her partner and a third withdrew money from a cash machine. The assailants spent approximately one hour inside the house.
Before the rape, the men demanded the couple hand over their credit cards and codes, the couple told police. Citing testimony of one of the two victims, Le Parisien reported that the suspects told the couple that they shouldn’t try to pretend they don’t have money because they knew the victims were Jewish.
An unnamed law enforcement source told the paper that “it is too early to tell if the victims were selected because they are Jewish.”
The men were carrying handguns and a short-barreled rifle, possibly homemade, according to the newspaper.
“Unfortunately, it appears that it is ‘open season’ on Jews in France following so many recent violent attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions going all the way back to the brutal torture and murder of Ilan Halimi,” European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor said in a statement about the attack, referring to the 2006 torture and murder of a Jewish phone salesman.
Kantor urged the French government to place the fight against anti-Semitic crimes at “the forefront of its agenda.”