Ex-ArcelorMittal engineer sentenced for photos and videos in company toilets

Videos, photos, a “nightmare” … A former executive working on the ArcelorMittal steel site in Gandrange (Moselle), since dismissed, was prosecuted for invasion of privacy, aggravated voyeurism and detention child pornography images. Most of these offenses were committed in his workplace. The list is long. More than 100,000 photos of his colleagues spied on in the toilets: He appeared on Tuesday before the criminal court of Thionville (Moselle) for invasion of privacy, aggravated voyeurism and possession of child pornography images.

The case started in June 2021, when an employee raised the alarm about a hole drilled in the wall of the women’s toilet. The hole is plugged and plexiglass installed at the bottom of the doors. But three months later, another employee reports seeing a smartphone brandished above the door. Suspicion turns to engineer Florent C., who has already been laid off for downloading pornographic films to his workplace in 2018. In his work computer, we discover 50 Giga of photos and videos of women urinating in the company toilets, namely 107,577 photos and 206 videos. During a search of his home, other photos and videos of women taken without their knowledge on his vacation spots were also found as well as child pornography files classified separately.

“The suffering of the victims”

At the hearing, the defendant, separated and father of two children, admitted the facts without difficulty. “I’m sorry, I dare not look you in the face,” he said to three of his former colleagues who filed a civil action. Their lawyer, Thomas Hellenbrand, spoke of “the suffering of the victims in their daily life”, evoking their “nightmares”, their “phobia of being followed and spied on”. For each of them, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, the council asked for 10,000 euros but in the end, the court will only grant them 2,000. ArcelorMittal was not present or represented at the hearing. The lawyer for the civil parties estimated that the steel giant “could be more generous” in its financial support for the victims.

The defendant was finally sentenced to three years of socio-judicial follow-up, with the obligation to seek treatment. In accordance with the requisitions of the prosecution, the 44-year-old man was also subject to an obligation to compensate his victims and to be registered in the File of perpetrators of sexual offenses.

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