Tue | Apr 24, 2018

French government supports minister accused of rape

Published:Monday | January 29, 2018 | 12:00 AM
French Presidential Emmanuel Macron's office has expressed confidence it his budget minister who is facing rape accusations.

PARIS (AP):

France's government is sticking by its budget minister as he fights a rape accusation.

Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin is the highest-ranking French official accused of sexual misconduct since the scandals that broke in Hollywood.

Darmanin has strongly denied wrongdoing. Other members of President Emmanuel Macron's government expressed support for him yesterday.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said on radio that Darmanin "can stay in the government" as long as no charges are brought.

Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said on television that his colleague should enjoy "the presumption of innocence". The prime minister's office also expressed "confidence" in Darmanin.

French prosecutors announced last Saturday the reopening of an investigation into a woman's accusation that Darmanin raped her 2009.

The accuser's lawyer says the case centres on the definition of sexual consent.