In a shocking development, French senator Joël Guerriau has been arrested on suspicion of drugging and sexually assaulting a member of parliament. The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday night when the unnamed MP had a drink with Guerriau, after which she complained of feeling unwell. She was subsequently taken to the hospital, where traces of the drug ecstasy were found in her system.
The woman filed a criminal complaint following the test results. Although the prosecutor’s office did not confirm her identity as an MP, multiple sources have disclosed that she is an elected member of the Chamber of Deputies.
Guerriau, a member of the centrist Horizons party and one of 18 Independents in the French upper house, has not yet been formally charged. His lawyer, Rémi-Pierre Drai, vehemently denied the accusations, stating that the initial reports in the press were misleading and far from the truth.
Expressing outrage at the leaked details of the investigation, Drai pointed out that the complainant’s identity had remained undisclosed while his client’s name had been made public. He called for a thorough investigation to determine the source of the leaks.
The 66-year-old senator, who previously worked as a banker and became a local mayor before joining the Senate in 2011, also serves as the vice-president of the foreign and military affairs committee.
According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, Guerriau was detained on suspicion of administering a substance without the person’s knowledge, impairing their judgment or self-control in order to commit rape or sexual assault. The prosecutor clarified that, in this case, the senator does not qualify for parliamentary immunity.
If found guilty, Guerriau could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£65,000). Meanwhile, Christophe Béchu, a fellow party colleague and the minister of ecological transition, announced that Horizons officials would convene on Saturday to discuss Guerriau’s position within the party.
1. Who is Joël Guerriau?
Joël Guerriau is a French senator and member of the centrist Horizons party. He was elected to the Senate in 2011 and currently serves as the vice-president of the foreign and military affairs committee. Prior to his political career, Guerriau worked in the banking industry.
2. What are the allegations against him?
Guerriau has been arrested on suspicion of plying a member of parliament with drugs and sexually assaulting her. The incident allegedly occurred after the MP had a drink with Guerriau, and she later complained of feeling unwell. Traces of ecstasy were discovered in her system during hospital tests.
3. Has Guerriau been charged?
No, Guerriau has not been charged as of yet. His lawyer has strongly denied the allegations and criticized the leaked details of the investigation.
4. What could be the potential consequences for Guerriau?
If found guilty, Guerriau could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£65,000).
5. What will happen to Guerriau’s position in the Horizons party?
Horizons officials plan to meet to discuss Guerriau’s party affiliation in light of the allegations. Christophe Béchu, a party colleague and the minister of ecological transition, has suggested that if there are doubts about the veracity of the accusations, Guerriau would not be able to remain in the party.
(Source: [BBC News](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news))