Trial of Dino Scala: “If I had met a psychiatrist at the time, I would not be there”, assures the accused
Who is hiding behind the cold gaze of Dino Scala? The second day of the trial of the man whom the police baptized “the rapist of the Sambre” was devoted to the investigation of the personality of the accused. In this case of multiple rapes and sexual assaults between 1988 and 2018, the Assize Court of the North, in Douai tried to paint the portrait of a man considered “helpful and pleasant”.
As often in this kind of case, it is to childhood that we must turn to try to understand the psychology of the defendant. And it was Dino Scala’s younger sister, Linda, who broke the silence. “When I was young, I was abused by my father. It was violent, ”she says straight away. A sexual assault denied by the family.
“Everyone knew about it. The whole family was under the influence of Dino’s father, ”recalls Me Margaux Mathieu, lawyer for Dino Scala. “The old man”, as Sandrine, the second wife of Dino Scala, called him with contempt, called to the bar to testify.
“Neither the police nor the doctor sought to find out more,” regrets Me Mathieu. “An omerta” denounced by Sandrine. “Dino, you have to break your family’s omerta!” she asks him, turning to him. The accused remains impassive.
One thing is certain, Dino Scala, an altar boy until the age of 18, was brought up in a very strict upbringing. Too ? The belt blows seem to have marked the childhood of the accused who claims to have “suffered from the lack of love from his parents”. Was Dino Scala also violent towards his children or his two wives? The testimonies diverge, against a background of conflicts between the in-laws.
” Doting father “
On the tail side, he is presented as a “dad hen” by Sandrine, his second wife. On the face side, his daughter, Lucie, from a first marriage, speaks of a “violent father”. A double personality that the investigator tries to trace. “He took great care of his stepfather, who had cancer, who considered him his son,” she says. But he seems unloving towards his wife. He is a man for whom the sense of duty is important. He does not leave his wife so as not to smash the family unit. »
In the box, Dino Scala keeps showing his frozen pout. He listens, sometimes lowers his head, but no feeling comes through. Even when emotion overwhelms the courtroom during the testimony of his wife Sandrine. With a wig on her head to partially preserve her anonymity, she regularly bursts into tears.
” I can not believe it. I look for details in our life, but I can’t find them. I didn’t suspect anything otherwise I would have denounced him, ”she says, in tears. Turning to the victims, she apologizes, but nevertheless reiterates her support for her husband. “Yes, I took a slap, but he was never violent,” she admits.
“I lied long and often”
Why did the accused one day take action? In 1984, when he was 25, he admitted having thrown himself on a friend of the family. Two years later, he enters by surprise the bed of his sister-in-law, Corinne, in the middle of the night. She wakes up, he runs away. He has always denied the facts, except today. “The idea was not sexual assault, but to impersonate her husband. Why did I have this idea? I don’t know,” admits Dino Scala.
Corinne also evokes “the impression of having been drugged”, just like her other sister, Betty. “Every time I ate and slept at his house, I woke up muddy. One day, I found myself in a tank top with a funny feeling. For me, for sure, this guy is a pervert. He manipulates and puts everyone to sleep, the better to get his prey,” she explained to the court.
“Since the age of 12, I have been inhabited by something that is wrong with women. It happens to me impulses, malaise, recognizes Dino Scala. I do not know why. I feel like I came out of my teenage years after my arrest. Since my incarceration, I have worked a lot on this. If I had met a psychiatrist back then, I wouldn’t be here. But a psychiatrist was for crazy people. I was ashamed of it all. And in my family, talking about that was taboo. »