Newly appointed French minister denies rape accusations


PARIS (Reuters) – Damien Abad, France’s newly appointed minister for Solidarity and the Disabled, strongly denied he raped two girls, following accusations revealed on Sunday by the Mediapart web site in an article based mostly on interviews with the ladies.

The girls quoted by Mediapart mentioned Abad had compelled them to have undesirable sexual relationships with him. The actions occurred in late 2010 and early 2011, they mentioned.

One of the ladies filed a grievance to the police towards Abad in 2017 which was closed with out additional motion, Abad and Mediapart mentioned.

“I contest with the best pressure these accusations of sexual violence,” he mentioned in a press release despatched to Reuters. “The sexual relations that I’ve had all through my life have at all times been by mutual consent.”

Abad mentioned his incapacity, a dysfunction known as arthrogryposis that impacts all 4 of his limbs, made it bodily unimaginable for him to commit the acts he was accused of.

Abad joined the federal government fashioned on Friday after President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election.

Asked to touch upon the accusations towards Abad, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne mentioned she was not conscious of them when he joined the federal government.

“I will likely be very clear: on all these topics of harassment, sexual assault, there will be no impunity and we should proceed to behave so that ladies who could also be victims of assault, harassment, can converse freely,” she mentioned.

Borne mentioned her authorities would bear the results of appointing Abad, “if there are new parts and a brand new case is opened.” She didn’t give extra particulars.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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