The French woman who killed her abusive husband faints in court after hearing that prosecutors ask for a sentence that could set her free

Paris (CNN) – A French woman who admitted to killing her abusive husband fainted with apparent shock and relief in court after hearing the sentence prosecutors requested on Friday.

The prosecution has asked for a five-year prison sentence for Valerie Bacot, suspended for four years, said a lawyer for the defendants.

If confirmed, Bacot would be released, as she has been in detention for a year, lawyer Nathalie Tomasini explained to the French media.

Bacot admitted to shooting Daniel Polette in 2016. She used to refer to him as her stepfather before they got married.

Polette had started raping her when she was only 12 or 13, according to court documents. At that time he was her mother’s boyfriend; He later became Bacot’s husband and father of their four children.

Tomasini told CNN’s French affiliate BFM on Friday that he was “about to ask for clemency” and that he did not expect this “at all.”

“Because she was detained for a year, she would not return if the jury and the court follow the opinion of the Prosecutor’s Office,” added the lawyer.

After Bacot passed out, emergency services rushed to the courtroom in Chalon-sur-Saone in eastern France. The session will resume when Bacot is well enough, Tomasini said.

Bacot potentially faced a life sentence for shooting Polette to death.

Valerie Bacot is pictured at the courthouse in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, on June 21.

Valerie Bacot in court in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, on June 21.

‘Everybody knew’

In his widely sold book «Tout Le Monde Savait» (“Everybody Knew”), published in May, Bacot, 40, said that Polette, 25 years her senior, first raped her when she was 12, got her pregnant at 17 and abused her over the course of 18 years.

I just wanted to protect myself. Protect my life, the lives of my children. In my eyes, nothing else mattered, “he wrote in his autobiography.

The trial has shed light on the lack of support for victims of incest and domestic violence in France. A petition seeking Bacot’s freedom, launched by an advocacy group in January, has gathered more than 705,000 signatures.

In her book, Bacot said she should be punished. But she argued that killing Polette was the only way to protect herself and her children from a man who had made her life “hell” from the moment he first raped her until she shot him dead in 2016. .

I’m not just a victim. I killed him, it’s normal for me to be punished. But if my sentence is strong, that will mean to me that he had the right to behave as he did to me, “wrote Bacot.

This February, allegations of abuse within a prominent French family sparked a nationwide settling of accounts over incest in France, and legislative changes were made, including a ban on sex with minors under the age of 15 and incest when the victim is under the age of 18 a crime of rape.

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