French Senator Accused of Drugging Fellow Lawmaker newsfragment

A French senator is below investigation on accusations that he spiked the drink of a fellow lawmaker with medicine this moment pace with an intent to sexually attack her, the Paris prosecutor’s administrative center mentioned on Saturday.

The senator, Joël Guerriau, 66, a centrist for the Loire-Atlantique area of western France, denies the costs. He’s accused of seeking to drug Sandrine Josso, 48, who belongs to another centrist celebration within the Nationwide Meeting, France’s decrease area of Parliament, and who represents the similar branch as Mr. Guerriau.

The Paris prosecutor’s administrative center mentioned that Mr. Guerriau was once being officially investigated on fees of the usage of and possessing unlawful medicine and of giving anyone a mind-altering substance with out their consent “in order to commit rape or sexual assault against them,” which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a high quality of 75,000 euros, or about $82,000.

Ms. Josso advised investigators that she had left Mr. Guerriau’s house in a while then feeling unwell then consuming a pitcher of Champagne there, and she or he has no longer accused him of sexually assaulting or raping her. The prosecutors have no longer defined the root for charging that Mr. Guerriau acted with intent to dedicate sexual attack.

Laure Beccuau, the Paris prosecutor, told RTL radio on Friday that investigators suspected that the drug worn by way of Mr. Guerriau was once ecstasy.

Rémi-Pierre Drai, Mr. Guerriau’s attorney, mentioned that the senator denied any wrongdoing.

“Joël Guerriau is not a predator,” Mr. Drai mentioned in a commentary. “He’s an honest, respected and respectable man who will restore his honor and that of his family, however long it takes.”

Mr. Guerriau’s little center-right celebration, Horizons, mentioned on Saturday that it was once postponing him straight away and that it might get started disciplinary complaints that might manage to his expulsion from the crowd.

“If confirmed, these are very serious facts,” the celebration said in a statement. “Horizons will never tolerate the slightest complacency toward sexual and sexist violence.”

Mr. Guerriau was once immune from police custody then wondering, however he’s barred from assembly with Ms. Josso, the prosecutor’s administrative center mentioned. Beneath French regulation, officials didn’t want to search the lifting of his parliamentary immunity, as a result of he was once being investigated as being stuck within the employment.

Mr. Guerriau and Ms. Josso have no longer commented publicly at the accusations. Even though each belong to events which can be allied with President Emmanuel Macron, nor is leading nationally; nor are they key allies of the French chief.

Julia Minkowski, Ms. Josso’s attorney, mentioned that her shopper was once at Mr. Guerriau’s house in Paris on Tuesday night when she hastily felt unwell then consuming Champagne that he had served her. In keeping with Ms. Josso, Mr. Guerriau exhibited “very strange behavior” and she or he noticed him pluck a little plastic bag containing a white substance out of a kitchen drawer, Ms. Minkowski mentioned.

Mr. Guerriau and Ms. Josso had been longtime political pals however weren’t in a romantic dating, in step with their attorneys.

Mr. Guerriau, a banker who was once first elected to the French Senate in 2011, is the vice chairman of the Senate’s overseas affairs and protection committee. Ms. Josso, a nutritionist, was once first elected in 2017 as a member of Mr. Macron’s celebration however upcoming switched to every other team, the centrist MoDem, or Democratic Motion.

Ms. Josso were on just right phrases with Mr. Guerriau and had disagree explanation why to suspect his intentions, Ms. Minkowski mentioned, including that in step with her shopper Mr. Guerriau had by no means made romantic or sexual advances on her within the moment.

“There is a feeling of betrayal,” Ms. Minkowski mentioned.

However Mr. Drai mentioned that the pace ahead of inviting Ms. Josso over to proclaim his fresh re-election, Mr. Guerriau was once feeling depressed and had ready a pitcher with an unspecified product in it for his personal intake.

Mr. Guerriau put the glass again with out the usage of it, the attorney mentioned, and by chance reused that cup to grant Ms. Josso Champagne please see pace.

Mr. Drai mentioned that Mr. Guerriau had apologized to Ms. Josso for what he known as a “handling mistake.”

“It may sound far-fetched,” he added. “But it’s the exact truth.”

In France, legal instances like the only in opposition to Mr. Guerriau are treated by way of particular magistrates who’ve extensive investigative powers and who can park defendants below formal investigation after they consider the proof issues to severe wrongdoing. The magistrates can upcoming let go the costs if they don’t consider the proof is enough to walk to trial.

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