Florent Goncalves was running the Versailles prison where Emma Arbabzadeh, a 17-year-old who had lured the Jewish victim of a high-profile hate crime, was an inmate. The warden and prisoner fell in love. Now he'll be serving time of his own.
PARIS -- Former prison warden Florent Goncalves was sentenced to one year in jail for having an affair with an inmate, Emma Arbabzadeh, who had been the teenage bait from an infamous anti-Semitic gang murder.
Arbabzadeh, who was recently released on parole from her previous sentence, was given four months of jail time.
The 42-year-old Goncalves, who had been dismissed from the French penitentiary administration in June, will also have to pay a 10,000-euro fine and has been banned from all civil service positions.
Goncalves "feels hurt, misunderstood, he is still lovesick," said his lawyer, Pascal Garbarini. "Obviously he knows he did wrong but he has a hard time explaining his mistake because it is laced with love."
The affair began in 2009 in the Versailles women's penitentiary. During the trial, the defendants admitted to having sex inside the prison. The former warden said he was in love but denied giving preferential treatment to his lover. He also said he didn't feel like he'd been manipulated.
Arbabzadeh is infamous for luring a 23-year-old Jewish man Ilan Halimi into a deadly trap in January 2006. The young man died after three weeks of torture by the so-called "Gang of Barbarians." Arbabzadeh was sentenced to nine years in prison for her role in the anti-Semitic crime.
Link to an earlier LE MONDE/Worldcrunch article about the case
Photo - Stephane333