French Member of Parliament (MP) Sandrine Josso, from the centrist MoDem party, has broken her silence about an alarming incident involving Senator Joël Guerriau. Guerriau, a prominent centre-right figure, was arrested and charged last week for allegedly spiking Josso's drink with ecstasy with the intention of committing sexual assault.
The incident unfolded during a supposed meeting at Guerriau's home, where he offered Josso a glass of champagne. Josso, recounting her traumatic experience, stated that the champagne tasted unusual and sweet. She observed Guerriau's peculiar behaviour, constantly adjusting the lights and urging her to drink.
The Alarming Moment:
Josso, still in shock, recounted the bizarre atmosphere created by Guerriau's actions. Medical professionals later informed her that the constant adjustment of lights could activate the effects of a drug. She managed to leave Guerriau's residence, seeking assistance from a taxi driver and colleagues who, alarmed by her condition, promptly called paramedics.
Her lawyer, Julia Minkowski, stated that Josso felt unwell after consuming a glass of champagne and witnessed Guerriau grabbing a small plastic bag containing something white from a drawer in his kitchen. Minkowski described the ordeal as requiring "monumental physical and intellectual forces" for Josso to escape the situation.
The scandal has rocked the French political landscape, exposing the prevalence of drink-spiking, according to Josso. She courageously called for awareness, emphasizing that anyone, regardless of status or age, could be a victim. In two separate interviews, Josso expressed her concern and urged the government to take decisive action against such malicious acts.
Investigators said that they conducted examinations that revealed ecstasy in her system, which prompted her to file the complaint. The French broadcaster RMC, which first reported the story, said that police had searched his office and home and confirmed that they had found ecstasy. It is important to note that the two did not have an intimate relationship.
Prosecutors said that 66-year-old Guerriau is being held for "administering to a person without their knowledge a substance likely to diminish their judgment or self-control to commit a rape or sexual assault," allowing police to override his parliamentary immunity.
In a joint questioning session that lasted for two hours, both the accused and the victim faced investigators. Investigators revealed that Josso had ecstasy in her system, adding a disturbing layer to the unfolding events.
Joel Guerriau's lawyer, Remi-Pierre Drai, claimed that the MP's acusations are "very far from the indecent interpretation that could be deduced from reading the initial press reports" and added that he was "outraged to see information from the investigation in the press".
Environment minister Christophe Bechu, a leading figure in the Horizons party, told another broadcaster, France Inter, that the party chiefs would hold a meeting early Saturday to discuss the situation. Guerriau "will have to face the consequences if the least of this is true," Bechu added.
Horizons is led by former prime minister Edouard Philippe, now mayor of the northern city of Le Havre and one of France's most popular politicians since leaving office. The party is allied with the ruling Renaissance party of President Emmanuel Macron. Philippe is widely tipped to run in 2027 to succeed Macron, who will be unable to stand for a third time due to term limits.
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