French teen broadcasts suicide on Periscope after naming man who ‘raped’ her

© Charles Platiau
A French teenager has broadcast her suicide on social media, showing viewers the moment she jumped in front of a train in Paris. The girl announced on the video she was a victim of sexual violence, naming the man who she claimed raped her.

Using the live video-streaming app Periscope, the 19-year-old shared the suicide with around 1,000 viewers on Tuesday afternoon, according to France Info.

"What's about to happen will be very shocking, but I'm not doing it for the hype, I am doing it to send a message," she said before jumping in front of the RER C train at Egly station, Metro News reported.

People watching the video commented on her remarks, saying: “We're waiting” and “Give us a hint.”

Before jumping, the girl "spoke of a rape and named the aggressor," a judicial source said, as quoted by AFP. The source said the claim is being treated with caution at this stage. 

In addition to the Periscope footage, the suicide was also captured on CCTV video at the station, which is located in a suburb about 25 miles south of central Paris.

Emergency crews pronounced the woman dead at the scene. Police seized the woman's phone and have since launched an investigation.

“An investigation into the causes of death has been opened and entrusted to the Palaiseau investigative unit,” local prosecutor Eric Lallement said in a statement.

In addition to broadcasting the suicide online, the girl “allegedly sent an SMS to one of her close relations, several minutes before her death, to announce her intentions,” Lallement said.

Prior to the suicide video, the 19-year-old published a series of posts in which she promised an upcoming live stream of importance.

Although the final video is no longer available on Periscope, excerpts appearing to be from the footage have been circulated on YouTube, with the suicide blacked out.

One of the excerpts shows the screen going dark, with no noise. About five minutes later, the voice of someone who is apparently an emergency worker says: “I am under the train with the victim, I need to move the victim.” The train is visible in the final seconds before the video cuts out.

The suicide appears to be the latest in a string of violent acts published via live streaming platforms.

Last month, two teens attacked a drunken 24-year-old man in Bordeaux, France. One of the two attackers recorded the assault on Periscope and filmed himself bragging about it. Both teens were arrested.

Also last month, authorities in the US state of Ohio said an 18-year-old woman witnessed a 17-year-old friend being raped. Instead of helping, she streamed a video of the assault on Periscope. The teen was charged with the same crimes as the perpetrator – kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Launched last year, Periscope is an app that specializes in live video streaming. It has over 10 million users, and the company says that over 40 years' worth of footage is viewed each day. The app is owned by Twitter.