There is a growing controversy in France this week over the judiciary’s handling of the case of a young boy who was accused of rape yet allegedly went on to kill a schoolgirl. Identified only as Mathieu M, the 17-year-old is allegedly blamed for the violent murder of a girl named in the media as 13-year-old Agnes Marin.
Police sources claim that Agnes Marin’s body was found near her school in Chambon-sur-Lignon, southern France. The body was badly burnt and that she had been raped. She vanished on Wednesday last week and her body was discovered (link is in French) just before the weekend, with prosecutors describing her death as ‘brutal’.
The case has raised questions in France about how young offenders are dealt with. The alleged killer is said to have previously been accused of ‘sexual transgressions’, and France Prime Minister Francois Fillon has waded into the debate, arguing that in some cases juvenile offenders should not be allowed to go free.