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Paris cops accused of raping Toronto woman will face trial

Last Updated Sep 30, 2017 at 8:15 am EDT

Police scooters are parked on a street in Paris, France, on Oct. 30, 2010. FLICKR/Jean-Louis Zimmermann

A Canadian woman who says she was raped by two Paris police officers inside the force’s headquarters three years ago is relieved that the case will go to trial, her lawyer said Friday.

A French appeal court has overturned last year’s decision by a lower court to dismiss the charges against the officers, whose names have not been released, Howard Rubel said.

The ruling has brought some satisfaction to his client, Emily Spanton, who has agreed to be identified, Rubel said.

“Most of the rules that we’ve developed in Canada about fair trial relating to sexual assault complainants are not in force in France,” he said.

“She had to agree to subject herself to a psychological assessment, she had to provide a history, a sexual history of her previous relationships,” as well as character references, he said.

“She has put up with a tremendous amount of invasion of privacy in order to ensure the matter goes forward so she’s very relieved that that wasn’t all for nothing.”

Spanton, the daughter of a former Toronto police detective, was visiting Paris in April 2014 when she met the officers at an Irish pub, he said.

The officers offered to give her a tour of the police headquarters, a building famous for its architecture, the lawyer said.

When she left the building later, Spanton approached another officer and reported that she had been raped, Rubel said.

French media report the officers have denied the allegations, with one officer saying there was consensual sex and one admitting only to “consensual touching.”

The lower court had dismissed the case on grounds that there was not enough evidence to prosecute, Rubel said.

But the appeal court unanimously disagreed with that finding and ordered a trial, which is scheduled to take place next year, he said, adding that much of the evidence is under a publication ban.

“A court will finally get to rule on all of the evidence and make a decision as to what happened and (Spanton) is very pleased that she will have that opportunity to confront them,” he said.


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