Trial Of ‘Tinder Rapist’ Photographer Opens In France

Paris:

A photographer went on trial in France Monday, accused of raping women he lured on dating apps with a promise of taking their picture.

Salim Berrada, nicknamed the “Tinder rapist” after the popular dating app, invited women he found online in 2015 and 2016 to modelling photo shoots and assaulted them during the encounters, according to the prosecution.

The 38-year-old defendant has denied the charges, saying the sexual relations were all consensual.

He told investigators his 17 accusers may have had regrets after the encounters and agreed to jointly file complaints against him.

Some of the women, mostly in their 30s, did not attend Monday’s court date.

One of their lawyers said of her client that “she doesn’t have the psychological strength to come here”.

Investigators said they had identified an “industrial-type” pattern in the online strategy employed by Berrada who they said used his reputation as a photographer to attract the women.

Using detailed steps laid out meticulously on Excel sheets, he promised the women photo sessions.

The spreadsheets included lists of key phrases he used to attract, compliment and proposition the women he mass-targeted online, telling them they were “unique” or his “muse”.

When they arrived for their modelling session, he offered them a drink, prosecutors said. Once they accepted, the women said they felt the onset of an abnormal and rapid inebriation and sudden weakness, which investigators said pointed to the drinks being laced with chemical drugs.

The women then described a sudden change in Berrada’s attitude, and said he forced himself on them despite their objections.

Berrada was first arrested in 2016 and spent two and a half years in prison awaiting trial before being released under judicial supervision and banned from working as a photographer.

He was jailed again last July following a fresh wave of legal complaints, and again charged with rape and sexual assault.

The investigation into the new allegations is ongoing.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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