A 49 year old obstetrician was sentenced to 12 years by the Ero criminal court in southern France, after being found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting eleven of his patients.
The prosecutor had requested 20 years imprisonment, the maximum penalty for such an offence, telling the court that the accused, Lionel Sarvan, did not hesitate to exploit vulnerable women, either during pregnancy or post-birth.
Sarvan committed the crimes during 2013 and 2016, violating women under the pretext of medical processes during labour preparation or post-birth monitoring.
A number of women said they had felt ‘frozen’ or paralysed’ during the rape and could not find the strength to speak out, while also suffering from long term psychological consequences.
They spoke of a ‘betrayal of trust’ during their most vulnerable.
Salvan persisted to the last that he did nothing deliberate, saying that he ‘loved’ the patients.