This October 27, 2019, a rumor begins to spread in Creil (Oise). Between the high towers of the Plateau district first, then throughout the city. A body was found charred in a small shed in the heart of family gardens. A young girl, it seems. Some even say she was pregnant. The fire took place two days earlier, but no one really cared about the destruction of this small abandoned sheet metal shack, often squatted by young people from the neighborhood. Not even the authorities. Until this anonymous phone call received by the police station at the beginning of the afternoon, indicating the presence of the body. According to this interlocutor, it would be Shaïna, the 15-year-old girl who disappeared two days ago.
More than three years after this tragedy, Youssef *, now 20 years old – he was 17 at the time of the events – is on trial for murder from this Monday and for the whole week before the minors’ assize court of Beauvais. “It’s been three years with my parents, we’ve been waiting for this moment,” says Yasin Hansye, the victim’s older brother. We want to know the truth, even if we have already made up our minds. Shaina was stabbed several times in the stomach. The autopsy will reveal that she inhaled smoke, proof that she was still alive when she was immolated by fire. His body was unrecognizable, the medical examiner even dissuaded the family from seeing him. It is thanks to a ring, a heirloom that is transmitted from mother to daughter, that she was identified.
“The first stone of Shaina’s Calvary”
To tell Shaina’s story, to imagine her ordeal, you have to imagine Russian dolls, dramas that overlap and close in on the teenager like a trap. Two years before her body was discovered in this shed, the young girl had already filed a complaint. It was for gang rape. She was 13, her then-boyfriend Ahmed* a year older. According to the story recorded in his complaint, the latter would have threatened Shaïna to reveal naked photos of her on social networks – pictures obtained under duress – if she did not join him in a disused clinic. As soon as he arrived, he allegedly ordered her to give him oral sex. While she refuses, two other teenagers arrive. They hold her down, undress her before making her undergo a digital penetration then with a tube of Labello. The facts were finally reclassified as violence and sexual assault in a meeting. Last Thursday, on appeal, suspended sentences of up to two years in prison were pronounced against them. Ahmed also had his name placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
“This case laid the first stone of Shaïna’s ordeal,” said family lawyer Me Negar Haeri. She helped to build a reputation for him, to weaken this young girl, whose word has always been discredited, abused. On a legal level, she is obviously disconnected from the assassination, but she lays the groundwork that will lead to her downfall. “Videos of this assault were posted on social networks, including Snapchat, forging the teenager a reputation as an “easy girl” within the city, causing her to live two years of humiliation and violence. Ahmed has not yet finished with justice: he is suspected of having beaten up Shaïna in May 2019, even though he was prohibited from going to Creil. The investigations have been completed, but the trial has not yet been heard.
A positive pregnancy test
It was during this summer of 2019 that Shaïna met her new boyfriend. Youssef is 17 years old, in high school. She celebrated her 15th birthday on August 11, has just had her patent with honors. He admits to having approached her “at the end of August-beginning of September” because of her reputation, to obtain sexual relations. “I used her. I knew for what purpose I was talking to him, ”he confides to the psychologist. According to him, they have not seen each other since mid-October. But the day of his death, Shaïna and him exchanged 122 text messages. The conversation has not been found but according to the accused, it revolves around the pregnancy that the teenager had just, it seems, discovered. After she disappeared, her parents found a positive test in her purse. According to Youssef, Shaïna confided to him her wish to keep the child when he wanted to convince her to have an abortion.
Since his arrest, the accused has continued to deny any involvement. No other trace of his DNA was found at the crime scene, no bloodstained clothing was discovered at his home. One of his friends, however, told investigators that Youssef had confided in the very evening of the murder. “I smoked it…”, he would have confessed to her. “He told me he went to see Shaïna at the garden squat with a knife, a pair of gloves and a bottle of gasoline. “I was going there to kill her because she was pregnant with me.” (…) he asked her to undress as usual, which she did. Once completely naked, he stabbed her several times, ”he said during a confrontation. “Liar,” retorts Youssef.
Lies, he says again, the testimonies of fellow prisoners – he was placed in pre-trial detention – who reported that he boasted of his gesture, preferring to take “thirty years rather than being the father of a bastard (…), of a son of a bitch”. The psychological expertise brought to light “a great coldness” and a “great detachment” vis-à-vis the facts. And what about the research unearthed from his computer: “criminal judgement”, “assize court judgment”…? In case we want to blame him, he explains.
And how to explain the redness on the face and legs observed both by his relatives and by the police during his arrest? To his confidant on the evening of the events, Youssef would have indicated that he had been the victim of a “flashback” when he had just set Shaïna’s hair on fire after having sprayed her body with gasoline. False, he replies before the examining magistrate: it is simply eczema. The doctor who examined him during his police custody is however categorical: “the lesions (…) are induced by the carbonization process”. Contacted, his lawyers did not respond to our calls.
“In this drama, each case paved the way for the next, until the drama we know, blows Me Negar Haeri. However, Shaïna and her family have sounded the alarm several times. They were not taken seriously. It shows how far blindness can lead. Theoretically, as a minor, the maximum sentence incurred by Youssef is twenty years of criminal imprisonment. But the court could, given his age – 17 at the time of the events – ask to drop the “minority excuse”, which would place him on the same quantum of sentence as an adult. Namely, for a murder, life imprisonment.
* The first names have been changed, the respondents being minors at the time of the events