France: double complaint for rape against Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the government reacts

An investigation was opened after the filing of two rape complaints against Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the Secretary of State for Development, who is accused by patients of the gestures that she would have imposed on them when she exercised as a gynecologist.


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Lhe first complaint denouncing acts of rape was filed on May 25 and the investigation opened two days later, before a second complaint dated June 16 for acts of the same nature, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

According to the weekly Marianne, the acts alleged against Ms. Zacharopoulou were allegedly committed in the context of her profession as a gynecologist, and concern for the second complaint an adult woman. The investigation was entrusted to the Brigade for the repression of delinquency against the person (BRDP).

Thursday morning, government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire spoke on the subject on the franceinfo set. “Justice is seized, it will rule,” she reacted. “We urge women, who may have been victims, to file a complaint in court, to speak out and we let justice legislate. If these complaints were to give rise to other acts of justice, decisions would be made”. Before emphasizing the importance of the independence of the judiciary: “it is essential that the judiciary be able to work independently of political power, independently of the executive, so that it can successfully carry out its investigations and carry out a diagnosis and answer “.

Uncomfortable

A third woman, Jade (first name changed), now 26 years old and living in the Paris region, told AFP on Wednesday that she had consulted Ms. Zacharopoulou for endometriosis problems, including this 46-year-old Franco-Greek gynecologist. made his specialty.

The appointment, made with Ms. Zacharopoulou for her fame and specifically because she is a woman, took place at the end of 2016 in the presence of a male medical trainee. According to Jade’s account, the gynecologist “forced her intern to examine me”. When the patient’s feet were in the stirrups, the medical specialist “felt that I was not at all comfortable, he was not at all comfortable either, my body was closed, blocked , he felt it,” she described.

“Then it was her turn. She said to me, using familiar terms: “You’re going to have to open. I am not him”. She was trying, trying, she wasn’t happy at all, and I was very nervous, tense and stuck,” she said.

The young woman said she did not remember if the gynecologist had obtained her consent before examining her, as a growing number of practitioners do today.

No complaint or report

Jade, who says she experienced this event “at least as a sexual assault”, has not filed a complaint at this stage. “I thought no one would believe me, but today is different,” she said, adding that she’s “reluctant” to do so.

Sonia Bisch, founder of StopVOGfr, told AFP that her collective against obstetric and gynecological violence had “received three testimonies” concerning her, dating from 2013, 2016 and 2020, evoking “gynecological violence (…) from three other patients who did not file a complaint. »

Born in Sparta, Ms. Zacharopoulou studied in Italy before practicing in France, at the Bégin military hospital in Saint-Mandé (Val-de-Marne) then at the Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), in particular in Tenon. in the service of Pr Émile Daraï, under investigation for accusations of rape.

Taking “completely into consideration the complaints of women”, Joëlle Beaisch Allart, president of the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians, told AFP that she was “very concerned about the current use of the word rape to describe medical examinations, in particular gynecological, without the slightest sexual intention.

Secretary of State

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou – elected in 2019 on the Renaissance list in the European Parliament, where she notably sat on the Committee on Women’s Rights – is a doctor who has long been involved in the issue of endometriosis. She had submitted a report on the subject to the French government last year.

Ms. Zacharopoulou joined the government at the end of May as Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Zacharopoulou mentioned Wednesday on Twitter a trip to Brussels but she did not react to these revelations and did not respond to AFP.

Several ministers accused

Several ministers currently in office are accused of sexual violence, including Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, the subject of a rape complaint, initially dismissed and then relaunched and for which the prosecution requested a dismissal in early 2022. .

More recently, the Minister of Solidarity Damien Abad was accused of rape. The Paris prosecutor’s office has indicated that it is not opening a preliminary investigation “as is”.

These accusations have sparked criticism and mobilization, particularly within feminist movements.



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