Sophie Patterson-Spatz, the woman who has accused Gérald Darmanin of rape since 2017, appealed on Wednesday July 13 against the dismissal order issued in favor of the Minister of the Interior, signed on Friday by an investigating judge, in agreement with the requisitions of the prosecution.
“Far from any relentlessness or any revenge, Ms. Patterson simply wants to finally obtain justice and strongly contests the merits of this order,” wrote her lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, in a press release. “The order acknowledges that Ms. Patterson is sincere and non-malicious. However, this procedure has of course suffered from the many pitfalls from which too many rape complaints in France still suffer today: sexist prejudice, rape culture or the grip of male domination, ”continues Me Tuaillon-Hibon.
“She also suffered from a totally exculpatory instruction in favor of a Minister of the Interior in office at the time of the procedure”, adds the council, “the word of Madam was not taken seriously enough, neither did most of the things she brought.” “Courageously, she stands up, not only for herself but for all the victims, and she encourages all plaintiffs who suffer this particular form of denial of justice to unite their efforts to make a difference,” concludes Me Tuaillon-Hibon .
Feeling of having to “go to the pan”
His client has accused, since 2017, the tenant of Place Beauvau of rape, sexual harassment and breach of trust, for facts which would have occurred in Paris in 2009 and which would have started at the headquarters of the UMP, ancestor of the party The Republicans. The complainant had contacted the elected official, then in charge of the party’s legal affairs department, to obtain support when she wanted to have a 2004 conviction for blackmail and malicious calls against a ex-companion.
According to her, Mr. Darmanin would have dangled her during a dinner and then an evening in a Parisian swingers’ club his possible support, via a letter that he undertook to write to the chancellery, asking her in exchange a sexual relationship. According to her account before the investigators, Sophie Patterson-Spatz had no desire for this sexual relationship, would have “panicked”, but would have felt compelled to “go to the pan”, having “no choice”.
Key exchange of the file, on the night of December 17, 2009, several months after the facts denounced, Ms. Patterson-Spatz wrote him this SMS: “Abuse of his position. For my part, it is to be a dirty con (…). When you know the effort it took me to fuck with you. To take care of my case. Less than two hours later, he responds, “You’re right, I’m probably a jerk.” How to forgive myself ? »
After having, according to her account, “hidden the facts” for several years, Sophie Patterson-Spatz was “suffocated” at the announcement of the arrival of Mr. Darmanin in the government of Edouard Philippe, in June 2017. After having reanalyzed this episode like a rape, she then files a complaint.
“Young Man’s Life”
The investigation is first closed twice by the prosecution. An instructing magistrate refuses to investigate, considering these investigations sufficient. After long procedural disputes, another investigating judge was seized in the summer of 2020. She placed Mr. Darmanin under the status of assisted witness in December 2020 and confronted the minister and the complainant for nine hours in March 2021, before to pronounce last Friday a dismissal.
“For the fourth time in five years, justice affirms that no wrongdoing can be blamed on Mr. Gérald Darmanin”, welcomed Monday the announcement of the dismissal of the minister’s lawyers, Mathias Chichportich and Pierre – Olivier Sur. The minister, for his part, filed a complaint for slanderous denunciation. This complaint is “running its course”, according to his lawyers. “You still have to measure what it’s like to be wrongly accused, to have to explain to your parents what happened because, it’s true, I had a life as a young man “, had justified the minister in July 2020 to the newspaper La Voix du Nord.
In February 2018, another woman had filed a complaint against Mr. Darmanin for facts dating back to a time when he held the office of mayor of Tourcoing (North). On this occasion, she had claimed to have “felt obliged” to have sexual relations with the latter, in exchange for facilities to obtain a job and housing. The preliminary investigation, opened for “abuse of weakness”, had also been closed three months later.