Paris, Nov 17 (EFE).- French Senator Joël Guerriau was formally charged by a judge on Friday and placed under judicial supervision for supplying a drug to a female parliamentarian with the aim of sexually assaulting her.
Guerriau, a centre-right politician from western France, was arrested Thursday by the judicial police and presented Friday before a court that decided to press charges against him, said his lawyer, Rémi Pierre Drai, in a statement sent to the press.
Specifically, Guerriau is accused of ” administering Sandrine Josso, without her knowledge, with a substance capable of altering her judgment or control of her actions, with a view to committing rape or sexual assault.”
The senator is also charged with “possession and use of narcotic substances,” the lawyer added.
Sources of the Attorney General’s Office indicated to local media that the senator was placed under a light form of judicial control that only includes the prohibition of contacting the victim and the obligation to undergo treatment, meaning that the senator will be set free.
The charges against Guerriau could carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to 75,000 euros ($81,868).
The court’s decision came after a two-hour confrontation between Guerriau and Josso at a Paris police station.
According to her report, she had visited the senator’s home for dinner on Tuesday night and that after drinking a glass of water offered by her host, she felt dizzy and experienced an elevated heart rate.
Josso, suspecting something was wrong, quickly left the house and went to the National Assembly, where she requested medical assistance and was subsequently taken to a hospital, where tests revealed the presence of the drug ecstasy in her system, prompting her to file a complaint.
On Wednesday, the judicial police went to the senator’s house, where they found ecstasy, and proceeded to arrest him. On Friday, at the end of the 48-hour provisional detention period, he was brought before a judge.
Guerriau declared his innocence, assuring that he never wanted to harm Josso, who is a friend of his “for a long time”, and is confident that he will prove that everything was due to a “mistake in the manipulation” of the substance, according to his lawyer.
Guerriau, 66, has been an independent senator (although belonging to the center-right Horizons party) for the Loire-Atlantique department since 2011 and is currently vice-president of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee of the French upper house.
Josso, 48, has been a member of the lower house of parliament for the same department as Guerriau since 2017, first for the Macronist LREM party and since 2020 for the centrist MoDem. EFE