No investigation, for the moment. The Paris prosecutor’s office announced on Wednesday May 25 that it is not opening a preliminary investigation, ” as is “on the rape charges against the new Minister of Solidarity, Damien Abad. “As it stands, the Paris prosecutor’s office does not follow up on the mail from the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence”who transmitted to him the testimony of two women accusing Mr. Abad of rape, “lack of information enabling the victim of the facts denounced to be identified and, therefore, lack of the possibility of carrying out a detailed hearing”said the prosecution to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
According to one survey published by Mediapart, Saturday May 21, a report for alleged acts of rape, dating back to 2010 and 2011, concerning the ex-boss of the deputies Les Républicains (LR) and new Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and People with Disabilities, Damien Abad , was sent by email to the parties La République en Marche (LRM) and LR by the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics between May 16 and 20. It is based on the testimonies of two women.
With this decision not to open an investigation ” as is “the Paris public prosecutor’s office applies the criminal policy it has put in place for several years in terms of sexual violence: an investigation is systematically opened as soon as a victim who is a minor at the time of the events is mentioned, even in the absence of a complaint. , in particular to check if there are no others.
If the facts concern adults, the prosecution reserves the right to open an investigation only if the victim(s) submit a complaint. The communication from the Paris prosecutor’s office on Wednesday is extremely rare when it comes to explaining why it is not opening an investigation.
“A low concern for the victims”
It was following the receipt of the testimony of “Chloé” (the first name has been changed at her request), on May 13, that the Observatory had transmitted, according to her wishes, her report to the management of the Republicans and La Republic on the move. This woman, now 41 years old, reports facts that allegedly took place during a party in the fall of 2010. It is the facts that she denounced that were at the heart of the recent report from the Observatory, on which the prosecution did not wish to open an investigation at this stage.
The second having testified to Mediapart, Margaux, went to a police station to testify in 2012, then filed a complaint in 2017. She confirmed her story to AFP. The prosecution had announced on Sunday “that a first complaint filed for acts of rape was dismissed on April 6, 2012 due to the complainant’s failure to act”. A second complaint “for the same facts was closed without further action on December 5, 2017” mistake “sufficiently serious offence”.
The organization created in February by initiators of the #metoopolitique collective (Fiona Texeire, Mathilde Viot and Alice Coffin) reacted through a press release posted on Twitter : “We are deeply surprised by the decision rendered by the prosecution. » “The prosecution did not contact us to find out more about Chloé, her procedures and her state of health”deplores the Observatory of gender-based and sexual violence in politics, considering that “It reflects little concern for the victims, even as the scale of the case rekindles the trauma they say they have suffered”.
“We have been in contact with Chloé, who says she does not feel “able to survive a legal whirlwind intended to launder [son] rapist. Nor to be thrown in the food to the pack which will question, dissect, mock [son] assault” “adds the press release from the organization.
“The challenge of restoring the truth”
Since the articles appeared, Damien Abad has dismissed the charges. “I have never raped a single woman in my life”he defended himself on Monday. “Should an innocent man resign? I do not believe “, he added. In written response addressed to MediapartDamien Abad also disputes the accusations of the two women and “says forcefully than sex than[il a] may have have always been based on the principle of mutual consent.. The Minister assures that he does not have “obviously never drugged anyone” neither “never accompanied by a woman without her consent”.
Regarding the complaint against him, Mr. Abad argues with Mediapart that it is to him “physically impossible to commit the acts described” because of his disability – he has arthrogryposis, a condition that locks his joints and reduces his mobility.
Asked whether or not the executive was aware of the accusations against Mr. Abad before their revelation, the new government spokeswoman, Olivia Grégoire, assured Monday, at the end of the Council of Ministers, that this was not was not the case: “To my knowledge, no member of the government was aware of these facts. In the composition of a government by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, the HATVP [Haute Autorité pour la transparence de la vie publique] and the General Directorate of Public Finance are consulted, it is not the political parties that are consulted. »
Tuesday, on the set of “Four Truths”, on France 2, Mme Grégoire argued that “The President of the Republic and Elisabeth Borne have once again made the fight against violence against women a priority” of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term. “In these cases, there is the issue of restoring the truth. Justice, twice, expressed itself and closed this complaint without follow-up “, did she say.
“If there were other women, if the prosecution was seized, then I would come to comment on it. My job is to comment on government action, not assumptions.”she continued, before adding: “In addition to justice, Damien Abad is a candidate and puts his personal word in the legislative framework. »