A Frenchwoman who admitted to killing her abusive husband, fainted in apparent shock in court on Friday, June 25, after hearing that she could walk free.
According to a lawyer for the accused, the prosecution has asked for a sentence of five years in prison for Valerie Bacot, with four years of the term suspended.
If confirmed, Bacot would walk free, as she has already spent a year in detention, her lawyer, Nathalie Tomasini, told French press.
Bacot admitted to shooting Daniel Polette in 2016. She previously referred to him as her stepfather before they married.
According to court documents, Polette had started raping her when she was only 12 or 13.
At that time he was her mother’s boyfriend, he later became Bacot’s husband and father of their four children.
Tomasini told French media, BFM on Friday that she was “about to plead leniency” and was not expecting this “at all.”
“Because she was in detention for a year, she would not be going back if the jury and the court follow the opinion of the prosecution,” the lawyer added.
After she heard the news, Bacot fainted and emergency services had to come into the courtroom.
Before today’s unexpected news, she was potentially facing a life sentence for shooting Polette dead.
In her bestselling book “Tout Le Monde Savait” (“Everyone Knew”), published in May, Bacot, 40, said Polette, 65, first raped her when she was 12 years old, impregnated her at 17 and went on to abuse her over the course of 18 years.
“I simply wanted to protect myself. Protect my life, the life of my children. In my eyes, nothing else ever mattered,” she wrote in her autobiography.
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 time he first raped her until she shot him dead in 2016.
“I am not only a victim. I killed him; it is only normal that I should be punished. But if my sentence is heavy, that will mean to me that he had the right to behave the way he behaved with me,” Bacot wrote. ?
Before today’s news, a petition seeking Bacot’s freedom, launched by a support group in January, had gathered more than 705,000 signatures.