Jail for French sex pest in 'LinkedIn recruitment' scam
A man who sexually harassed young women by posing as a recruiter on the professional social network LinkedIn was sentenced Friday in Paris to 18 months in prison, nine of which were suspended.
During the trial, several young women recounted their experiences on the stand.
The women were contacted via LinkedIn in 2021 by Armand T., 34, a father of two, and interviewed via video conference – during which he kept his camera switched off. The court case was the first time the women had seen his face.
Most of them were students in their early twenties and this was their first job interview, and he adapted his ruse depending on the LinkedIn profiles of the young women looking for jobs: sometimes he presented himself as a business lawyer, sometimes an accountant.
He asked the young women to stand up and turn around in front of the camera, tie their hair back or open their shirt.
"I was 20 years old, it was my first real job search", said one of the women who testified in court, a law student.
"He asked me a few professional questions and asks me to lift my shirt fairly quickly. Then he asked me to get up, turn around" in front of the camera.
“I was looking for an internship in finance,” another woman testified. In the middle of the interview, "I hear him screaming with pleasure, very loudly. He told me that it was his trainee who was taking care of him".
A question of interpretation?
He asked one woman if she was ready to “play with her wrist”, and said to another that his trainees would need to “help him relax”.
“Have you ever worked with an egg?” he asked another, before answering the young woman's bewilderment with a picture of a sex toy.
In court, the offender denied any sexual harassment, regretting a problem of “interpretation”.
“It's not a question of interpretation,” the judge said in exasperation.
“Encroaching on the sphere of privacy in the context of work is prohibited by law".
The court ordered the prison sentence to be served with an electronic ankle bracelet. The court also imposed a psychological monitoring requirement as part of the sentence.
Armand T. will also have to compensate the seven women involved in the case; some 15 potential victims had been identified in total.