Steve Bakelmans gets 5 years jail sentence for the rape of his ex girlfriend
Share article:
Share article:

Steve Bakelmans gets 5 years jail sentence for the rape of his ex girlfriend

© Belga

The Antwerp Appeal Court on Wednesday sentenced Steve Bakelmans, presumed murderer of young Julie Van Espen, to five years in prison and 10 years’ probation for the rape of his ex girlfriend.

The sentence was tougher than the four-year prison term that had been imposed by the lower court. The Appeal Court also ordered his immediate arrest.

The victim had reported the abuse to the police on 31 October 2016, stating that Bakelmans, with whom she had had a relationship with for four years, had entered her studio in Antwerp that night, ripped off her under garments and raped her. He had also stifled her cries by stuffing socks into her mouth and hit her twice in the face.

Before leaving, Bakelmans stole her purse. A little later, he sent her a message: “Fuck! Good Lord! I’m going to the police myself! I am sorry!”

The culprit turned himself in to the police on 6 November and confessed. He said he’d always been in love with her and had dreamed that night that she was marrying someone else. He added that he had only wanted to lie beside her, but the situation became uncontrollable when she began to shout.

On 4 May 2019, Julie Van Espen, a 23-year-old student, disappeared while riding her bicycle between her Schilde home and Antwerp, where she was to have met some friends.

Two days later, her body was found during a search in the Albert Canal. On the same day, Bakelmans, 39, had been identified as a suspect and questioned.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...