Former Versailles women’s prison director Florent Goncalves arrives at court

A French prison governor who fell in love with a notorious inmate has been jailed and fined for giving her preferential treatment. Florent Gonçalves wrecked his career and ended up on the other side of the bars after he fell for Emma Arbabzadeh.

A court in Versailles on Wednesday sentenced Gonçalves to one year in prison plus one year suspended and fined him 10,000 euros. They also banned him from ever again holding a public-service job.

Although sex with a prison inmate is not illegal in France, the court convicted him for “carrying on a correspondence” with Arbabzadeh and granting her favours, notably giving her mobile phone smart cards and money and setting up a Facebook page for her under the name, Fleur d’Orient (Oriental flower).

At the time Gonçalves, now 42 years old, was France’s youngest prison governor, living in a 120-metre-square apartment that went with his job at Versailles women’s jail.

But he lost it all thanks to his affair with Arbabzadeh, a 21-year-old of Iranian origin who had been jailed for her part in one of France’s most notorious cases of kidnap and extortion.

Shortly after arriving at Gonçalves’s prison, the young Emma Arbabzadeh requested an interview with the governor. She asked to be transferred again, and when he asked if she had any complaints about her treatment, she told him that she had fallen in love with him and it would thus be unwise for her to stay under his supervision.

The couple subsequently had sexual relations at least twice in the prison’s computer room, made steamy phone calls at night and continued to keep in touch after Arbabzadeh was finally transferred to another prison in the Paris region. Rfi

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