A teenager in France has admitted to stabbing a 71-year-old man in the face repeatedly because the teen thought the man was gay.
In the early morning of July 16, the older man was found lying by a roundabout in the town of Betton, which is near Rennes in the eastern part of France. The victim had been stabbed six times in the face, and he suffered from fractures to his facial bones, the French LGBTQ+ site Komitid reports.
Authorities identified two suspects — an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old — who were found driving the victim’s car that they had stolen, according to PinkNews. The 17-year-old has not been charged with the attack but he may face charges related to stealing the car. However, the 18-year-old is facing charges of attempted murder.
“A criminal investigation has been opened into counts of attempted murder due to the sexual orientation of the victim, and robbery with a weapon,” local prosecutors said, according to Komitid.
While being questioned by police, the 18-year-old said he had met the victim a few days before and had agreed to meet up. He later admitted to authorities that “having stabbed the victim in the vehicle and outside it” due to the victim’s “supposed homosexuality… but also with a view to stealing [the car].”
The 18-year-old suspect faces life in prison.
Hate crimes have been on the rise in France, according to PinkNews. The outlet reports that 2020 data from the country’s interior ministry indicated a 36 percent increase from 2018 to 2019.
In a statement in 2020, the ministry said, “These figures testify to the deep anchoring of homophobia and transphobia in society.”
Follow More Advocate News on Pride Today Below