Scandal A French senator is arrested, suspected of having drugged a representative to rape her

It happened on Tuesday afternoon

Scandal A French senator is arrested, suspected of having drugged a representative to rape her

It happened on Tuesday afternoon. The senator and the deputy met at his house, in the center of Paris, to have a glass of champagne. They had been friends for more than 10 years. Suddenly, she began to feel unwell, she had cold sweats and her heart rate was fast. She then "noticed him taking an envelope with white powder out of a kitchen drawer."

The story is real, at least it is the version given to the police by the French deputy Sandrine Josso, who accuses Senator Joël Guerriau, with whom she had a friendly relationship for years, of having drugged her to try to abuse her later. The Frenchman, who is a member of the Horizons party, was arrested last Thursday after her complaint, he was formally accused this Friday and is under judicial control, although free.

The party, one of those that make up the government majority, has decided to suspend him. "Deeply shocked by the events at the origin of the accusations," the group "unanimously decided to suspend him immediately" before initiating a process to proceed with his definitive expulsion, they stated in a note.

Following the parliamentarian's complaint, she underwent a medical examination and tested positive for ecstasy. The analyzes carried out on Guerriau also showed traces of amphetamines, opiates, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, according to what the French press has leaked. On Wednesday he was arrested after a two-hour confrontation with the complainant at a Paris police station.

The prosecution confirmed the senator's arrest for "having administered a substance to the deputy with the aim of altering her judgment or control of her actions in order to commit rape or sexual assault." Also for "possession and use of narcotic substances." Investigators searched his home and his office and found ecstasy.

"Sandrine Josso is still in a state of shock," Julia Minkowski, Josso's lawyer, told the AFP agency after the confrontation between the complainant and the suspect. She "had to deploy enormous physical and intellectual strength to overcome her terror and free herself from this trap at the last minute. Added to this was a feeling of betrayal and total incomprehension. Joël Guerriau was a friend for years and in whom she had complete trust".

According to the lawyer, Josse began to feel bad after drinking a glass of champagne. He then saw the senator "taking a small plastic bag containing something white from a drawer in her kitchen. Then he realized that he was drugging her without her knowing."

Guerriau denies the facts. Her lawyer, Rémi-Pierre Drai, told AFP that her client "will fight to prove that he never wanted to give her co-worker and long-time friend a substance to abuse."

"Mr. Guerriau is not a predator, he is not a supporter of chemical submission, he is an honest, respected and respectable man, who will restore his honor and that of his family," said the lawyer. Sources close to the accused cited by French media justify that he had consumed drugs because he was going through a series of personal problems.

Guerriau, 66 years old and father of five children, is an independent senator, although assigned to Horizons, since 2011 for the department of Loire-Atlantique (west of the country). Josso, 48, has been a deputy for that same department since 2017, first with Macron's party (La Rrepública En Marcha) and since 2020 for the centrist MoDem, which is part of the coalition that supports the French president.