Millionaire insurance boss charged with trafficking, rape of minor

A French millionaire who made his fortune by founding a prominent insurance firm has been charged with human trafficking and rape of a minor in a case that has shocked France, judicial sources told AFP Tuesday.
Jacques Bouthier, 75, was charged after a woman, 22, went to the Paris police in March and said he had held her captive for five years and repeatedly raped her, a source close to the case, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
She told the police that Bouthier said she was becoming too old and forced her to find a 14-year-old as a replacement, according to RTL radio who revealed the case.
The woman filmed Bouthier and the teenager together in bed and gave the video to the police as evidence, the report said.
Police believe Bouthier found out about the video and made plans to kidnap the woman, seize the video and force her to leave the country.
Bouthier’s wife, two employees of his company, a young woman close to the victim and a former police officer are suspected of planning to assist him.
The five alleged aides have been charged for not denouncing sexual assault of a minor and participating in a kidnapping plan. They have been in prison since Saturday.
Bouthier has been charged with human trafficking and prostitution of a minor as well as rape and sexual assault of a minor under 15.
Assu 2000 has 1,800 employees and a turnover of 163 million euros ($175 million). The company confirmed to AFP that Bouthier has now resigned from his position as its president.
Bouthier founded the company — renamed Vilavi in January — in 1975 when he was aged 28 and had been at its head ever since. It started out operating out of a single bungalow but now has 11 different brands.
In 2020, Challenges magazine in its annual ranking said Bouthier was the 487th richest man in France with a fortune of 160 million euros ($171 million), although he dropped out of the classification a year later. (AFP)