The decision is rare. The Versailles Court of Appeal decided on Tuesday, June 28, to extend the scope of the judicial investigation targeting Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, accused of rape by Florence Porcel, to facts which appear to be time-barred.
The 38-year-old writer accuses the former journalist of having forced him to have sex in 2004 and fellatio in 2009, which he disputes. The facts of 2004 were closed without action in 2021 for prescription, those of 2009 for “insufficient evidence”. After this decision, Mr.me Porcel filed a civil action at the end of November in order to cause a referral to a judge to investigate again.
This judicial investigation, led by an examining magistrate in Nanterre, was opened in December for the only facts of 2009, which the defense of Mme Porcel challenged before the investigating chamber.
By overturning this judge’s order on Tuesday, the Court of Appeal “allows the investigation to continue on all the facts” and to decide, in a second time, on their prescription or not, explained Wednesday a source close to the file to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The judicial inquiry will therefore extend to the facts of 2004.
The defense of Patrick Poivre d’Arvor “waits to have more precise elements before reacting and commenting, if necessary, on a court decision which would be free of the rules of limitation”said his lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, who confirmed that his client had not been heard by the investigating judge.
At least twenty-seven women testified
The investigation into “PPDA” began in February 2021, after the complaint filed by Mme Porcel. During the four months of preliminary investigation conducted by the Nanterre prosecutor’s office, twenty-three women testified. The majority of the facts denounced being prescribed, the investigation was closed without further action in June.
Other accusations against the former journalist have appeared in the press, bringing to at least twenty-seven the number of women who have testified against him in the media or in court. Two of them were minors at the time of the facts denounced.
Patrick Poivre d’Arvor has contested all the charges brought against him and has filed a complaint several times for slanderous denunciation. After a first classification without follow-up, the former star of the 20 hours of TF1 recently filed a complaint against sixteen of his accusers, this time with a civil party in order to cause the referral to an examining magistrate. This judge has not yet been appointed, as the complaint is at the registration stage.
“PPDA” named these sixteen plaintiffs as “lovers rejected or ignored very bitter” who act “for revenge” in “howling wolves”, according to his complaint, consulted by AFP. Patrick Poivre d’Arvor is also the subject of another investigation, led by magistrates from the Nanterre prosecution, following three complaints of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. The plaintiffs denounce facts which allegedly took place at the Cannes Film Festival in 1985, in his office at TF1 in 1995 or even in a Club Med in Savoie in 2013. These facts also appear to be time-barred.