French Minister Facing Rape Complaint Filed

Gérald Darmanin Cleared of Sexual Assault Accusations

The Prosecutor’s Office in Paris has decided to maintain the decision made in April 2020 clearing current Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, of sexual assault accusations made against him by French activist Sophie Patterson-Spatz for events dating back to 2009.

His defense had previously insisted that Justice has repeatedly ruled that there were no elements in the complaint with which any criminal behavior could be attributed to Darmanin, now 40 years old. No charges were filed against him and he made a procedure against the woman for slander.

The incident occurred in 2009 when Darmanin was a city councilor for Tourcoing, near Belgium and a position in the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). According to Patterson-Spatz, she contacted the politician because she hoped for his help to have a sentence reviewed and he allegedly promised for her favors. Despite these accusations, he remained in the Executive.

Feminist movements and members of the opposition had criticized that he was kept in government. Darmanin himself has admitted to a sexual relationship with the woman, but emphatically denies that it was under any obligation.

The decision to clear Darmanin of the accusations reaffirms his political future and is the fifth time that Justice has reiterated its verdict.

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