Former minister indicted for attempted rape

Former minister Damien Abad, accused of sexual violence by three women, was indicted Thursday in Paris for attempted rape in 2010 of one of them, AFP learned from a source close to the case. The deputy (related to Renaissance) of Ain was placed under the more favorable status of assisted witness for the two other women, who accuse him of having raped them in 2010 and 2011.

In a press release sent to AFP, the 44-year-old politician, defended by Jacqueline Laffont and Robin Binsard, considered that this status of assisted witness “demonstrates the unfounded nature of the accusations”. As for his indictment, the forty-year-old assured that he had “no doubt” that his “innocence” would be “confirmed at the end” of the investigations.

Three complaints

This indictment is part of the judicial investigation targeting him since June 21, 2023, on suspicion of rape and attempted rape. The affair broke out in spring 2022, when Mediapart published testimonies from two women, Chloé (not her real name) and Margaux, accusing Damien Abad of rape, in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Before speaking to the press, the first indicated having made an anonymous report to the Observatory of Sexist and Sexual Violence in Politics, the second having seen her complaint closed by the Paris prosecutor’s office in 2017.

Their speech in Mediapart had prompted a third woman, a centrist elected official nicknamed Laëtitia, to testify in turn, then to file a complaint for attempted rape. Laëtitia notably accuses Damien Abad of having tried to rape her during a party organized at his home in Paris in 2010.

“Consistent and overlapping” accusations

His complaint led to the opening of a preliminary investigation. The MP, whose parliamentary immunity had been lifted, was taken into police custody on June 7 and then released without prosecution. The investigations were then entrusted to two investigating judges, and the three women became civil parties in this case. Damien Abad was indicted for the facts denounced by Laëtitia.

“The accusations made by my client from the beginning are consistent and cross-referenced by corroborating testimonies, this expected indictment is logical,” reacted to AFP Me Mario Stasi, her lawyer.

The former leader of the LR deputies was appointed in May 2022 Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and People with Disabilities. The day after his appointment, Mediapart relayed accusations of rape against him. He left the executive at the beginning of July 2022 during the reshuffle.

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