Rape Inquiry Against Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, French TV News Anchor, Is Dropped


Catherine Denis, a prosecutor in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris, said in a statement that the rape accusations made by Ms. Porcel and five other women that predated 2007 were past the statute of limitations, which was 10 years at the time. A 2017 law doubled the statute of limitations, for current and future cases, to 20 years, but without retroactive effect.

Many of the accusations of sexual harassment or assault were also past the statute of limitations. For those that were not, Ms. Denis said, there was not enough evidence, like records of phone calls or evidence that Mr. Poivre d’Arvor had made repeated sexual comments, to support the accusations.

Ms. Porcel’s 2009 accusation was not past the statute of limitations, but Ms. Denis said that there was “insufficient proof” to support the allegations because the police had not uncovered any evidence enabling them to independently substantiate Ms. Porcel’s account.

The investigation included an analysis of the “configuration” of the offices where Ms. Porcel said the rape had occurred, the statement said. The investigators were unable to “confirm that it could have happened out of sight” from other people, as she had claimed.

This month, prosecutors also dropped an investigation into accusations of rape of a minor and sexual aggression by a prominent political scientist, Olivier Duhamel, because the statute of limitations had expired. Mr. Duhamel had been accused by his stepdaughter, Camille Kouchner, of sexually abusing her twin brother more than 30 years ago.

In 2019, prosecutors closed a rape investigation into the actor Gérard Depardieu, but this year, he was charged with rape and sexual assault after the plaintiff used the same procedure cited by Ms. Porcel’s lawyers to force a case to move forward.

Mr. Poivre d’Arvor, who has written scores of books and hosted various shows since leaving TF1, including a literary program that ended shortly before the accusations emerged, had filed a defamation lawsuit against Ms. Porcel, accusing her of making false claims against him.

Source : Nytimes