“As it stands, the Paris prosecutor’s office does not follow up on the mail from the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence”, which transmitted to it the testimony of a woman accusing Mr. Abad of rape, “for lack of evidence allowing the victim of the facts denounced to be identified and, therefore, for lack of the possibility of proceeding to his detailed hearing”, specified the prosecution.
This decision is part of the criminal policy implemented for several years by the Paris public prosecutor’s office with regard to sexual violence: an investigation is systematically opened as soon as a victim who is a minor at the time of the facts is mentioned, and even in absence of complaint, in particular in order to check whether there are no others.
But if the facts concern adults, this prosecution reserves the right to open an investigation only if a complaint is filed.
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.
The day after the appointment of the government of Elisabeth Borne, Mediapart broadcast the testimonies of two women accusing the Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and People with Disabilities of having raped them in 2010 and 2011.
The first, Chloé (first name changed), aged 41, denounces facts that allegedly took place during a party in the fall of 2010.
These are the facts that she denounced which were at the heart of the recent report of the Observatory, on which the prosecution did not wish to open an investigation at this stage.
The second who 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 indicated 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 dismissed on December 5, 2017” for lack of “sufficiently serious infringement”.
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.
– Calls for resignation –
The rare congenital neuromuscular disease from which he suffers, arthrogryposis, makes the facts of which he is accused impossible, said the man who was until recently the boss of the LR deputies.
Two and a half weeks before the legislative elections, Emmanuel Macron is put in difficulty by the revelations of sexual violence targeting Mr. Abad, the main war prize of post-presidential Macronie.
Calls for resignation have multiplied in recent days in the ranks of the opposition and feminist associations.
The latter notably demonstrated on Tuesday in Paris to denounce “a government of shame”, at the call of the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics, an association created in February in the wake of the MeToo movement and which does not escape not to critics on possible political motivations.
“Should an innocent man resign? I don’t think so,” said Damien Abad.
“Justice is the only one who must or can decide”, supported him on Monday, after the first Council of Ministers of the new government, his spokesperson Olivia Grégoire, believing that it was up to justice to “establish the truth” while recalling the “zero tolerance” of the Head of State and the Prime Minister for sex offenders”.
Since the publication of the Mediapart article on Saturday relaying the accusations of rape, several anonymous testimonies from members of LR have also reported “heavy”, even “inappropriate” behavior of the new minister, supposedly well known to his political entourage.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, for her part, assured that she “was not aware” of these affairs when her government was composed.