The senator (Horizons) of Loire-Atlantique Joël Guerriau, suspected of having drugged a member of parliament with a view to sexual assault, was indicted on Friday, November 17, by a Parisian investigating judge and placed under judicial supervision, announced his lawyer, Rémi-Pierre Drai. Member of the Les Indépendants group (center right) at the Luxembourg Palace, in 2022 he joined the Horizons party, founded by former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
“Deeply shocked by the facts giving rise to the accusations”the members of the Horizons office decided ” unanimously “ to suspend ” immediately “ the senator, Saturday morning, before starting “a disciplinary procedure which could lead to permanent exclusion”said the party, which will call the complainant, the deputy (MoDem) for Loire-Atlantique Sandrine Josso, a source within the party told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Mr. Guerriau was indicted for “administration without Sandrine Josso’s knowledge of a substance likely to impair her judgment or control of her actions, in order to commit rape or sexual assault, and possession and use of substances classified as narcotics”, specified Mr. Drai in a press release sent to AFP. The complainant would have felt ill after having a drink on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday at the Parisian home of the senator, aged 66, with whom she did not have an intimate relationship, according to the public prosecutor.
Requested by AFP, the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed this indictment which was decided after a two-hour confrontation between Mr. Guerriau and Mr.me Josso, in the premises of 3e district of the Paris judicial police. The prosecution specified that the judicial control imposed on the senator prohibited him from “to go to the victim’s home” And “to get in touch with victims and witnesses”.
“Mr. Guerriau is now free and will be able to explain the facts”underlined Mr. Drai in the press release following the senator’s indictment. He “will fight to demonstrate that he never wanted to administer to his work colleague, and long-time friend, a substance to abuse her” And “will demonstrate that it was a handling error which caused the dramatic inconvenience suffered by her fellow MP”added the lawyer. “Mr. Guerriau is not a predator, he is not a fan of chemical submission, he is an honest man, respected and respectable, who will restore his honor and that of his family”concluded Mr. Drai.
Discomfort and ecstasy sachet
Contacted by AFP, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Julia Minkowski, announced that she would become a civil party on Monday. “Sandrine Josso is still in shock”she declared after the confrontation. “She had to deploy monumental physical and intellectual forces to overcome her terror and extricate herself from this ambush at the last minute. Added to this is a feeling of betrayal and total incomprehension. Joël Guerriau had been a friend for around ten years, in whom she had complete confidence”told AFP Mme Minkowski.
According to the lawyer, Mme Josso was “feeling unwell after drinking a glass of champagne”then saw Mr. Guerriau “grabbing a small plastic bag containing something white, from a drawer in your kitchen”. “She then understood that he was drugging her without her knowledge”says Mme Minkowski.
Samples from M’s bodyme Josso revealed the presence of ecstasy, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Thursday, confirming information from RMC. Searches were then carried out at the senator’s office as well as at his home, where investigators found ecstasy, according to the prosecution.
Mr. Drai believes that “the confrontation allowed (her) client to forcefully confirm his version of the facts, which does not allow at this stage of the investigation to characterize any infringement. The investigation will continue as it should.”.
No need to request the lifting of parliamentary immunity
According to sources close to the matter, Mr. Guerriau said that he believed he had obtained, from a member of the Senate, a euphoric, and not ecstasy, for his own consumption, in order to facing what he described as personal trials.
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The investigations are being carried out under the aegis of the Paris public prosecutor’s office, which opened a flagrant investigation, a procedure which means that there is no need to request the lifting of parliamentary immunity.
A banker by profession, senator since 2011, Mr. Guerriau is secretary of the Senate and vice-chairman of the committee on foreign affairs, defense and armed forces.
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