Mr. Abad, who is seeking a new mandate as deputy on Sunday in Ain, denounced to AFP the “carefully chosen calendar of these publications” and the “partiality” of the Mediapart investigation, which according to him has a political motivation. “As for the allegations reported, they revolt me and I categorically refute them,” added Mr. Abad in a message sent to AFP.
“Laëtitia” (assumed name), a “elected centrist”, accuses Mr. Abad of having tried to rape her during a party organized at his home in Paris in the first half of 2010. Without explicitly mentioning a complaint, his lawyer, Me Raphaële Bialkiewicz, told Mediapart that she was proceeding “to the collection and cross-checking of elements, with a view to providing all the necessary follow-ups”.
“Today, I can no longer be silent,” Laëtitia told Mediapart. “If I speak, it’s so that it stops, so that he can’t start again,” she added.
During the events she relates, she was president of the New Center youth movement, of which Mr. Abad, MEP, was the national president.
On the evening of the events, she says, Damien Abad “offered her a glass” at the bottom of which she saw “something”: suspicious, she went to spit out her sip in the toilet.
Also according to his story, Mr. Abad was waiting for him behind the door and everything went “very quickly”: the MEP would have “pushed her into a room opposite” then tried to force her to perform oral sex.
“I was scared, I was flabbergasted. I struggled, I hit him in the stomach,” she says.
“Laëtitia” says she was finally able to “get rid of” her alleged attacker and leave the room thanks to the irruption of a guest.
The facts reported by this woman are “supported by the testimonies of eight people, to whom she confided or who may have witnessed certain elements of her story”, and whom Mediapart claims to have contacted.
The government arrested
These accusations come after those published by the online media on May 20, the day after Mr. Abad’s appointment as Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and Disabled People: two women, quoted by Mediapart, accused the new minister of raping them in 2010 and 2011.
According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, one of them – who confirmed her story to AFP – filed a complaint twice, but these two complaints were dismissed in 2012, then in 2017, first for “lack of the complainant”, then “lack of sufficiently serious infringement”.
As for the other accuser, the prosecutor’s office announced on May 25 that it was not opening a preliminary investigation “as is” into the facts she denounces, for lack of evidence to identify her. His testimony was indeed transmitted to justice in an anonymized form, by the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics.
“Is Damien Abad worthy of exercising his functions and working for the general interest?” This association wondered on Tuesday after the new revelations from Mediapart, adding that “a lack of reaction could not, in state, be construed only as government validation of this type of violent behavior towards women”.