After two years of denials despite overwhelming evidence against him, Jean-Marc Reiser finally confessed Tuesday morning to having killed the young Strasbourg student Sophie Le Tan in 2018, even if he denied any premeditation.
“Jean-Marc Reiser acknowledged his exclusive involvement in the death of the young student, death which occurred in his apartment on the day of the latter’s disappearance,” said the Strasbourg prosecutor’s office in a press release, following information from BFMTV.
The public prosecutor, Yolande Renzi, specifies that Mr. Reiser “admitted to having dismembered the body in order to facilitate the transport, then to have hidden it in forest”.
Mr. Reiser, who was already indicted in this case, had continuously proclaimed his innocence so far and denounced a “scaffolding of guesses”, despite several damning elements. In recent months, his lawyers had threatened not to defend him if he did not “change” his position.
And while the investigating judge had completed his investigations in early December, the suspect himself requested a new hearing, during which he therefore confessed.
“He confessed to Reiser sauce, he said: + We quarreled, I did not want to kill her but I killed her. + He then admitted having dismembered the body and hid the pieces”, specified a source close to the file.
– “A thousand proofs of his guilt” –
Jean-Marc Reiser, 60, was arrested in September 2018, a few days after the disappearance of Sophie Le Tan, on her 20th birthday.
She had given no sign of life after going to Schiltigheim, north of Strasbourg, to visit an apartment. Jean-Marc Reiser, who had posted the real estate ad, quickly became the sole suspect.
The young woman’s incomplete skeleton was discovered more than a year later, at the end of October 2019, in a Vosges forest, in Rosheim (Bas-Rhin), an area where Mr. Reiser visited regularly.
Despite the sexagenarian’s denials, several pieces of evidence seemed to establish his involvement, in particular the presence of Sophie Le Tan’s blood in her apartment as well as on the handle of a saw belonging to her.
“These confessions do not change anything in the file, there was a thousand proofs of his guilt. Mr. Reiser denied the obvious, he was shown a blank sheet, he said it was black,” responded to AFP Me Gérard Welzer, lawyer for the Le Tan family. “This may help to avoid unnecessary lengths of proceedings. It is hoped that the trial can take place before the end of 2021”.
The prosecution announced that the judicial investigation “continues in view of these new elements”.
– Suspected for another disappearance –
In addition, more than 30 years after the unexplained disappearance of a 23-year-old sales representative, Françoise Hohmann, in September 1987, the Strasbourg prosecutor’s office reopened the case last February with Jean-Marc Reiser still in sight, acquitted for lack of evidence in 2001 by the Bas-Rhin Assize Court in this old case.
The last customer Françoise Hohmann visited before her disappearance, in the Hautepierre district of Strasbourg, was Jean-Marc Reiser.
“The Hohmann family fervently hopes that Jean-Marc Reiser, supposing him to be involved in the disappearance of Françoise Hohmann, will still make an effort of sincerity”, announced his lawyers, Marlène Correia, François Saint-Pierre and Thierry Moser.
Jean-Marc Reiser, on the other hand, had already been sentenced in 2001 by the Assize Court of Doubs to 15 years ‘imprisonment for rapes committed in 1995 and 1996, a sentence subsequently confirmed by the Assize Court of Appeal of Côte d’ Gold in 2003.
In 1995 he raped a German hitchhiker at gunpoint in the Landes. The following year, he repeatedly raped a former mistress.
He had been arrested during a routine customs check in the Doubs in 1997. In his vehicle had been discovered an arsenal of handguns, a shotgun, balaclavas and drugs as well as pornographic photos of amateur, which allowed the police to make the connection with rape in the Landes.