The Paris Assize Court on Wednesday sentenced the former Secretary of State Georges Tron to five years in prison, including three closed, for rape and sexual assault in a meeting on an employee of his town hall in Draveil (Essonne) and detained him.
Two former employees of the town hall of Draveil (Essonne) accused of having imposed touching and digital penetrations on them between 2007 and 2010, generally during scenes of threesome with his assistant to the Culture of the time, Brigitte Gruel.
The two defendants, who have always categorically denied these charges, had been acquitted at first instance.
At the end of an eleven-hour deliberation, the court declared the 63-year-old elected official guilty of rape and sexual assault in a meeting on Virginie Ettel, facts “established by the constant and detailed statements of the victim”. On the other hand, justice acquitted him of similar facts on the other plaintiff, Eva Loubrieu.
Hearing the decision, the latter burst into tears and stormed out of the room, her coat under her arm.
Brigitte Gruel was sentenced to two years in prison. The court also handed down a six-year ineligibility sentence against Georges Tron.
The former Secretary of State listened to the sentence impassive, without letting the slightest emotion show through. In a heavy atmosphere, he gave his watch to his lawyer, Me Antoine Vey, then went to stand in the glass box of the accused. Escorted by gendarmes, he was taken into custody.
This verdict goes beyond the requisitions of the public prosecutor as regards Georges Tron. The Advocate General had requested five years in prison, three of which were suspended, against the city councilor and requested that the firm part of his sentence be carried out under an electronic bracelet.
– Block denials –
The two defendants deny the facts alleged and maintained that the “lies” of the plaintiffs were part of a “plot” fomented by the political opponents of Georges Tron in Essonne.
Made public a few days after the outbreak of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair in May 2011, this appeal case is part of the debate on sexual violence and power relations between men and women. A context that the civil parties did not fail to invoke during the long days of debates.
Foot massages, lies, clandestine recordings, “omerta”, crude descriptions of triolic sex scenes … For four weeks, the court immersed itself in the microcosm of the town hall of Draveil, commune of Essonne in the south of Paris, which Georges Tron has directed since 1995.
This affair forced him to resign from the Fillon government in 2011.
The prosecution and the civil parties tried to convince the court that Georges Tron had exercised a “grip” on his accusers Virginie Ettel and Eva Loubrieu. According to them, this moral ascendancy constitutes a form of coercion – one of the characteristics of rape and sexual assault in the penal code.
In 2018, although deeming the existence of sexual scenes credible, the Assize Court of Seine-Saint-Denis considered that there was no constraint, arguing in particular of contradictions and lies on the part of the complainants.
Walled in his denials, Georges Tron returned during this trial the image of a man with mown political ambitions, deeply alone.
Known for providing frequent foot massages to women around him, the mayor has defended himself from any sexual connotation in his practice of plantar reflexology. “Until May 24, 2011, people saw in me a reflexologist (…) And the next day, people see you as a sexual pervert”, he testified during his interrogation last week.
Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.
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