The first complaint denouncing facts of rape was filed on May 25 and the investigation opened two days later, before a second complaint dated June 16 for facts of the same nature, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.
According to the weekly Marianne, the acts alleged against Ms. Zacharopoulou were allegedly committed in the context of her profession as a gynecologist, and concern for the second complaint an adult woman.
The investigation was entrusted to the Brigade for the repression of delinquency against the person (BRDP).
A third woman, Jade (first name changed), now 26 years old and living in the Paris region, told AFP on Wednesday that she had consulted Ms. Zacharopoulou for endometriosis problems, including this 46-year-old Franco-Greek gynecologist. made his specialty.
The appointment, made with Ms. Zacharopoulou for her fame and specifically because she is a woman, took place at the end of 2016 in the presence of a male medical trainee.
According to Jade’s account, the gynecologist “forced her trainee to examine me”. When the patient’s feet were in the stirrups, the medical specialist “felt that I was not at all comfortable, he was not at all comfortable either, my body was closed, blocked , he felt it”, she described.
“Then it was her turn. She said to me, using familiar terms: You’re going to have to open. Me, I’m not him. She was trying, trying, she wasn’t happy at all, and I was very nervous, tense and stuck,” she said.
The young woman said she did not remember if the gynecologist had obtained her consent before examining her, as a growing number of practitioners do today.
– No complaint or report –
Jade, who says she experienced this event “at least as a sexual assault”, has not filed a complaint at this stage. “I thought no one would believe me, but today is different,” she said, adding that she’s “reluctant” to do so.
Sonia Bisch, founder of StopVOGfr, told AFP that her collective against obstetric and gynecological violence had “received three testimonies” concerning her, dating from 2013, 2016 and 2020, evoking “gynecological violence (…) from of three other patients who did not file a complaint.”
Born in Sparta, Ms. Zacharopoulou studied in Italy before practicing in France, at the Bégin military hospital in Saint-Mandé (Val-de-Marne) then at the Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), in particular in Tenon. in the service of Pr Émile Daraï, under investigation for accusations of rape.
Asked by AFP, the AP-HP replied that it had “never heard of a complaint or report concerning Dr. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou”.
“The CHU set up a commission of inquiry at the end of September 2021 following the accusations concerning Professor Émile Daraï”, a renowned Parisian gynecologist targeted by several complaints, and “particular attention was paid to the ascent and treatment complaints from patients”, specified the AP-HP.
The challenge for justice will be to see if these non-consensual medical acts can receive criminal qualification. In the case of Émile Daraï, a judicial investigation has been opened for violence by a person responsible for a public service mission.
Taking “completely into consideration the complaints of women”, Joëlle Beaisch Allart, president of the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians, told AFP that she was “very worried about the current use of the word rape to describe medical examinations, in particular gynecological, without the slightest sexual intention”.
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou – elected in 2019 on the Renaissance list in the European Parliament, where she notably sat on the Committee on Women’s Rights – is a doctor who has long been involved in the issue of endometriosis. She had submitted a report on the subject to the French government last year.
Ms. Zacharopoulou entered the government at the end of May as Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Ms. Zacharopoulou mentioned Wednesday on Twitter a trip to Brussels but she did not react to these revelations and did not respond to AFP.
Several ministers currently in office are accused of sexual violence, including Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, the subject of a rape complaint, initially dismissed and then relaunched and for which the prosecution requested a dismissal in early 2022. .
More recently, the Minister of Solidarity Damien Abad was accused of rape. The Paris prosecutor’s office has indicated that it is not opening a preliminary investigation “as is”.
These accusations have sparked criticism and mobilization, particularly within feminist movements.