A French senator was arrested this Thursday on suspicion of drugging a female deputy to commit a sexual assault, according to radio station RMC. It was Senator Joël Guerriau, from the center-right group Les Indépendants, who was interrogated at his home in Paris by agents of the Judicial Police and subsequently arrested.
The police action stemmed from the complaint of a deputy, whose identity has not been disclosed, who said that, during a visit to the senator’s home on Tuesday night, he began to feel ill after drinking a glass of water that was offered to him.
The lawmaker hurriedly left the senator’s house and went to a hospital, where the analysis confirmed the presence of ecstasy in his system, according to RMC information. The media added that agents who went to question Guerriau found happiness in his home.
The alleged crime for which the senator was arrested, providing a person with substances that can change their judgment to commit a sexual assault, can lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros.
A lawyer talks about “bad translation.”
Guerriau, 66, has been a senator since 2011 for the department of Loire-Atlantique (west) and is currently vice president of the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Armed Forces Commission of the French Upper House.
His lawyer, Rémi-Pierre Drai, expressed his anger that elements of the investigation appeared in the French media and said he would not give “any information” about the case “out of respect” for his client and the deputy who filed the complaint.
“We are very far from the obscene interpretation that can be obtained from earlier media articles,” said Drai.
Neither the Senate nor its president, Gérard Larcher, have yet given reactions to this case.