AP

Top French official accused of rape during gynecology exams

Jun 22, 2022, 7:17 AM | Updated: 7:22 am

PARIS (AP) — Paris prosecutors have opened a rape investigation into accusations that a member of the French government, a woman who worked as a doctor before joining politics, reportedly performed gynecological exams on two women without their consent.

French law defines rape as any act of sexual penetration committed on others by violence, coercion, threat or surprise.

The government member, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, was named secretary of state for development last month. She and her office have not commented publicly on the accusations, which emerged Wednesday.

The first rape complaint was filed in late May, soon after Zacharopoulou’s government appointment, and another was filed last week, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Wednesday. The prosecutor’s office said it ordered an investigation.

Details of the complaints have not been released. French media reports said the women accused Zacharopoulou of penetration during gynecological exams without their consent.

Two men in French President Emmanuel Macron’s government have also been accused of rape, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Damien Abad, who is in charge of policies for the disabled. Both firmly deny wrongdoing.

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Top French official accused of rape during gynecology exams