On March 24, several complaints were filed against Evans Lescouflair, the former Haitian sports minister. He is accused of repeatedly raping boys. Victims and facts spanning more than 30 years.
It is research by journalists Ed Aarons and Romain Molina, published in the English newspaper The Guardian, that reveals the extent of the Lescouflair affair.
Romain Molina spent two years investigating these alleged rapes and interviewing numerous witnesses.
Evans Lescouflair’s lead prosecutor is no stranger to the island. it is Claude-Alix Bertrand, the ambassador representing Haiti at Unesco. He is also captain of the national polo team.
On March 24, the forty-something formally filed a complaint against his former gym teacher for facts dating back thirty years. “This is a criminal complaint alleging repeated rape of a minor under the age of 15., lawyer Franck Vanéus told the British daily. “The penalty could be life imprisonment” he explained.
Several other reports were sent to Port-au-Governorat police station on the same day.
The forties spoke about this trauma for the first time last January in a program.
In the late 1980s, young Bertrand was enrolled at the age of 11 Saint-Louis de Gonzague, a well-known school in the country.
He says it all started with an excuse for him to stay after class, ostensibly to do extra practice. Then there would have been contact very quickly.
“He touched me in intimate places like no one had ever done before. It was so embarrassing. I didn’t understand what was going on. I was just a kid. I asked him why he did that. He went on to ask me if I didn’t like it.”
The one we used to call “Daddy” wouldn’t have stopped there, says Claude-Alix Bertrand. If he tries to avoid him, Lescouflair would have done anything to be alone with the boy. The abuse continued, culminating in rape.
It took two years. It happened in a separate room… I was only 11 years old. I was so scared… It went on until I got sick.
Evans Lescouflair refused to answer questions from Guardian reporters, but last February, following Bertrand’s public allegations, he told Haitian daily Le Nouvelliste: “I have nothing to say as the man who made this statement is married to a man of foreign nationality.” An indication that Claude-Alix Bertrand is homosexual.
According to Molina’s investigation, the former minister would have had another favorite reason for finding his young victims. He would also have raged at the Saint-Louis Sports Club, a club he founded where he catered mostly to boys. And at National Technical Center of the Haitian Football Federationthe ranch Croix-des-Bouquets.
In 2015, Lescouflair was accused by the then Minister for Youth and Sport, Himmler Rebu, of abusing young players at the training centre. The case was dropped without further action.
Five years earlier, he escaped other complaints for alleged rape and pedophilia. Without charges due to lack of evidence, the protested at the time Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince.
But the allegations are serious. In 2008, a young man committed suicide. According to one of his friends, he too was the victim of Evans Lescouflair, but also of Jacques Succès Orisme, known as Jacky, coach. Together, the two men had founded the National Football Academy, Anafoot.
According to victims interviewed by the Guardian, Jacky was responsible for finding boys in Lescouflair. He too would have abused her.
There is no doubt about the family of the deceased young man. They claim that their son was raped by the former minister. Before adding that they have been living in fear and fear for their lives ever since. The man remains an important figure in the country, they explain.
If Lescouflair is worried again, another man well known and close to Haitian football is also in turmoil.
In November 2020, Fifa banned Yves Jean-Bart, the president of the Haitian Football Federation accused of raping players, for life and fined him one million Swiss francs.
Arrival of Yves Jean-Bart (blue shirt) in court, May 14, 2020.
The adjudicatory chamber of world football’s governing body, which seized the file in mid-October following the investigation phase, found the 73-year-old leader guilty of “abused his position” to the “sexually harassed and assaulted several players, including minors“.
Fifa’s internal judiciary therefore suspended him for life “from all football-related activities at national and international level” and also sentenced him to pay one million Swiss francs or 925,000 euros. At the time, the authorities announced that they would be investigating “other officials of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF)“, involved”in systematic sexual assaults against female players between 2014 and 2020“, as “as perpetrators, accomplices or instigators“.
As part of an investigation by the British daily newspaper The Guardian published at the end of April 2020, the allegations of rape against Yves Jean-Bart also led to the opening of criminal proceedings in Haiti. According to the young girls quoted by the Guardian, Yves Jean-Bart has raped many underage gamers in recent years. Under pressure to remain silent, alleged victims told the newspaper on condition of anonymity that at least two underage players had dropped out after being raped by the federation’s president at the national training center.
Yves Jean-Bart completely rejected the allegations against him and filed a complaint against the French journalist Romain Molina in Paris. Co-author of the Guardian investigation.
The former president has appealed FIFA’s decision. The decision is expected in July.