French army caught up in nude shower film scandal

NANTES, France (AFP) - A French court has suspended the resignation of a young army trainee who said she was pressured to leave after complaining about a sergeant who filmed her nude in the shower without her knowledge.

The court in the city of Nantes ruled against the departure of the young woman, who was undergoing training as a cook in an army training centre in the Vendee region in western France, her lawyer said late Monday.

The recruit from the French Caribbean island of Martinique made an official complaint on November 20 after she realised she was filmed in the communal showers.

The sergeant had filmed her slipping a mobile phone between the floor and the base of the shower door.

Following her complaint, the 25-year-old said she was pressured into resigning.

"I was made to think that I had done something wrong and at no time did I feel supported in any way," she told AFP.

She was summoned by a colonel who told her: "For you, it's over. For the well-being of the training programme, the students and the teachers." She then filed a lawsuit in February.

The case comes against the backdrop of other sex scandals in the French army which prompted Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to order a probe at the end of February into attacks and sexual harassment of female staff by their male counterparts.

Similar scandals have rocked the US army. Just last week the US army's top prosecutor overseeing sexual assault cases was suspended over allegations he groped a female lawyer working for him.

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