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“He gets fourteen years in prison and after a few months we release him. It is a mixture of disgust, anger and incomprehension. Amélie* is one of the four civil parties who, on Saturday 28 January, from 2.00pm to 4.30pm, on the main square of Beuzeville (Eure), are organizing a public demonstration in support of women victims of violence denounce the release of Jean-Claude Gorzela on January 10th.
Sentenced on 5 May 2022 to 14 years’ imprisonment with a postponement mandate, the former manager of the Pizza Manu establishments located in Beuzeville And Saint Maclouwas found guilty of rape, assault and sexual harassment of four former employees, for acts committed between 2015 and 2018.
Subjected to judicial control
The complainants’ relief was short-lived. After appealing his conviction at first instance, Jean-Claude Gorzela sent on July 13, 2022 a request for release to the investigative chamber of Rouen (Seine-Maritime) to prepare for his second trial which will take place from 12 to 15 June before the Seine-Maritime Assize Court of Appeal.
His request was initially denied. By denying from the outset the facts of which he is accused, then grab the Court of Cassation of Rouen which reverses this decision. The file is returned one last time to the investigative chamber of Caen in December 2022. This confirms, on January 10, 2023, the acceptance of the former executive’s release.
Under judicial control since January 10, it is currently placed under house arrest in Calvados, with a certain number of obligations to be respected such as the ban on traveling to the Eure department (except for the needs of its defence) and on leaving the national territory. He also has to report once a week to the Deauville police station and not come into contact with his former employees.
A press release questioning the civil parties
But the four women wonder. Why did the Court of Cassation overturn the decision to keep Jean-Claude Gorzela in prison? Second Master Veronique Demilliere-Badacheinterviewed last week by the Awakening of Pont-AudemerBarrister of Caen defending two of the four victims in this case:
“The Rouen Court of Appeal did not provide sufficient grounds for its decision to reject the release decision. »
Before being sentenced to 14 years in prison, Jean-Claude Gorzela was placed in pre-trial detention on 18 October 2018. But a year later, on 31 October 2019, the investigating chamber ordered his release. He had been placed under house arrest under an electronic bracelet.
Given that before his first trial he had fulfilled all his duties, that he had presented himself in court, the Court of Cassation held that nothing today prevented him from being a new one once released from prison.
Jean-Claude Gorzela’s lawyer, Master Robert Gaston, had indicated in his brief that the request for release was legitimate, because it allowed his client to prepare his defense in the best possible conditions before the appeal process. He adds that there is no risk of pressure from his client on the victims, nor of escape, given his family, professional and friendly ties in Normandy. Awakening last week he tried to contact mastro Gastone. Without success.
“A rare decision”
Lawyer for another victim, Master Sylvain Naviaux recognizes that this release is “a rare decision, especially in this context of denouncing violence against women that is talked about a lot today. »
This decision shocked my client. When he found out, she immediately went to her doctor. It’s heartbreaking to know she’s around.
The lawyer also points out that this release does not change the substance of the case. But given the appeal process to be held next June, the former manager of the pizzeria is still presumed innocent.
* Presumed name, because former employees did not want to mention their identity.
Public demonstration against violence against women, Saturday 28 January from 14:00 to 16:30, in the main square of Beuzeville.
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