6 Mar 2010

Former nurse in French Polynesia found guilty of sexually abusing 26 children

6:06 am on 6 March 2010

A court in French Polynesia has convicted a former French military nurse to 20 years in prison for 40 rapes of children.

Philippe Challand was found guilty sexually of abusing 26 children, mainly boys, between 1993 and 1998 on Hao atoll, which was a key military base for the French nuclear weapons testing programme.

At the time of the offending, the victims were between five and 17 years old.

The sentence is the maximum punishment possible for such a crime.

Challand was arrested in France four years ago after his son-in-law found a video cassette of Challand's own recordings, showing him abusing boys and girls appearing to be asleep.

Challand can appeal against his sentence within 10 days.