French teens who filmed assault on disabled man charged

GRENOBLE (AFP) - Three French teenagers who sparked outraged after filming themselves assaulting a young mentally disabled man and posting the footage on Facebook have been charged, local prosecutors said Wednesday.

The video filmed on Sunday in the southeastern town of Fontaine shows two of the boys pushing the 18-year-old in a park, making him fall and shouting at him before shoving him into a stream, from which the bewildered-looking victim emerges and walks away.

Two of the boys - a 14-year-old and 15-year-old - were charged with "abuse of a vulnerable person as part of a group" and "recording and broadcasting violent images". The third was charged with complicity.

The 14-year-old - the main perpetrator of the assault - has been placed in foster care while the two others have been banned from meeting up, leaving their homes at night and seeing their victim, prosecutors said.

The victim was not hurt in the incident, which Marie-Arlette Carlotti, junior minister for the disabled, described as "hugely shocking" and a "barbaric assault".

The outrage over the filmed incident follows a similar outcry over a video posted on the Internet showing a 24-year-old Frenchman hurling a kitten through the air.

Farid Ghilas was arrested in the southern city of Marseille last week and sentenced to a year in prison on Monday.

The five-month-old kitten, shown mewling in the video, survived but suffered a broken leg and is facing surgery.

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