French Senator Accused Of Drugging Colleague With Intent To Rape, Prosecutors Say

(Screenshot/Public/YouTube user: Les Indépendants / République & Territoires Sénat)

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A French senator faces preliminary charges for allegedly drugging a fellow lawmaker with the intent of rape or sexual assault, the Associated Press reported Saturday, citing the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Joel Guerriau, 66, representing the Loire-Atlantique region, was detained and charged Friday following an incident involving parliament member Sandrine Josso, according to the AP.

Guerriau allegedly spiked a glass of Champagne with ecstasy, which he served to Josso at his apartment Tuesday evening. Josso reportedly left the senator’s apartment after feeling unwell, per the AP.

Guerriau’s lawyer, Remi-Pierre Drai, stated that the drugging was not intentional or meant to harm Josso, describing it as a “handling error,” the outlet noted.

“Joel Guerriau is not a predator,” the lawyer said, the AP reported. “He is an honest, respected and respectable man who will restore his honor and that of his family however long it takes.” (RELATED: Bill Cosby Sued By Alleged Victim Who Claims He Drugged And Raped Her: REPORT)

The charges against Guerriau include the use and possession of drugs and the administration of a substance to impair judgment for committing rape or sexual assault. He has been released under judicial supervision, with restrictions including no contact with the victim or witnesses, the AP reported.

These preliminary charges suggest that the investigating magistrates believe there is substantial evidence of wrongdoing, but further investigation is required before deciding on a trial, per the AP.

Following the announcement of these charges, Guerriau’s political group, Horizons, which is allied with President Emmanuel Macron‘s Renaissance party, suspended him. Horizons stated its firm stance against any form of sexual or sexist violence, the report says.