Article here, with a truly fantastic slideshow.
The case is widely seen as the tip of an iceberg of similar macho rape and trafficking culture in the lower-class (and immigrant) suburbs of Paris
There is a deep-seated and difficult issue here.
I'm going to use France and the UK as my examples as they're the places I'm most familiar with but from my understanding issues like this afflict much of the Western world. In short the government... and notably the police... have a long and fairly ignoble history of (not) engaging with immigrant communities. For many years racism... both individual and institutional... characterised almost all interactions between the two. Thankfully in recent years (generally as a result of well publicised scandals) this racism has been somewhat stamped out... or at least minimised... and while there are clearly still issues to be dealt with the situation is much better than it has been.
The negative effect of this is that police have been hesitant to go into immigrant communities for certain crimes... at least partially due to fear of the perception of racism. In France you can look at the above case and in the UK at the Rochdale grooming ring
to see examples of situations where the police have at best trod too lightly at and worst deliberately ignored or minimised sex crimes within immigrant communities. From the evidence that's come to light it appears there was a deliberate decision to make avoiding being perceived as racist the priority over giving a full investigation to alleged crimes.
There's clearly a balance that must be struck. On one hand we certainly don't want to return to the "bad old days" of institutional racism and the police simply looking for the nearest immigrant to blame a crime on... but just as certainly we don't want the horrific offences mentioned above to be allowed to be committed. Finding that balance is something that I hope can be quickly done.
Last week, allegations of rape against Dominique Strauss-Kahn (who might have been president of France now but for...) - not the New York case but events that were supposed to have taken place years earlier - were thrown out of court. A few days later, DSK made an interview and admitted that he had been into a wealthy swingers' lifestyle for many years, but stated that nothing illegal or amoral had been going on and declared that the French govenment is "waging war on lust" through its courts and laws. Further developments are eagerly awaited.
(In danger of dragging us off-topic)
While I think Strauss-Kahn is a fairly vile man... and that he must answer for the rape accusations... he has somewhat of a point here. Far too often the welcome strengthening of both the law and intent against sexual assault and other such crimes is combined with a most unwelcome assault on alternative sexualities. In the UK for example the tragic murder of Jane Longhurst
was followed by the equally tragic (for entirely different reasons) Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, notably Section 63
and a general hardening of attitudes on sexual conduct including a number of prosecutions under the Obscene Publications Act. Most notably for anyone who posts on E from the UK, particularly in the NC or Extreme sections may well be breaking the law these days following the prosecution of Gavin Smith
... a frankly horrible man but one who was also convicted for online chats which the judge explicitly stated was clearly a fantasy and had no possibility of ever happening the future.
Which is fairly worrying.