The court has found television maker Bart De Pauw guilty of assaulting five women and electronic nuisance in relation to one woman. The victims finally get recognition because of this. “It is thanks to the courage, the statements and the evidence of all these women that this conviction follows,” responds their lawyer Christine Mussche.
The conviction of De Pauw relieves the victims, it sounds. The women in question hope that this conviction sends a strong signal to society.
“This verdict is of great social importance. It shows that transgressive behavior does not go unpunished even if the perpetrator is a beloved, successful and powerful television figure,” says lawyer Christine Mussche, who represents the civil parties together with An-Sofie Raes.
“Since the beginning of this year, the names of the bourgeois parties have been released and several well-known women have since been hit hard on social media. They were called names, laughed at and accused of wanting De Pauw’s money or public attention. The women now hope that this verdict will make it clear that they were indeed victims of serious crimes.”
“De Pauw has now been convicted of no fewer than five women over a period of more than 10 years. He was acquitted for a number of women, mainly on the basis of doubt (eg old messages that are no longer available). Among the women, the feeling of recognition because of the conviction predominates and the hope that no new victims of De Pauw’s cross-border behavior will follow.”
Lawyer Christine Mussche also says that Bart De Pauw is being convicted for his behavior towards five women, which definitely strengthens the others in that sense. They have similar experiences in which the same pattern keeps recurring. The fact that the court disapproves of this behavior and considers it punishable also gives them confirmation and acknowledgment of what happened to them.
“It is also thanks to the courage, testimonies and evidence of all these women that this behavior has come to light and that this conviction follows.”
The women who filed for civil suit could not be reached for comment. They wish to respect the term of appeal.