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France

Prosecutor seeks 7-year sentence for policemen accused of raping Canadian tourist

media The building at 36 quai des Orfèvres, which formerly housed Paris criminal police, sits on the Ile de la Cité near the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Wikipedia

French prosecutors said Wednesday that two police officers accused of raping a Canadian woman in an emblematic Paris police station in April 2014 should be jailed for seven years.

Two policemen, both former members of an elite anti-gang unit, are accused of raping 39-year-old Emily Spanton at 36 Quai des Orfevres, a famous police headquarters on Paris’s central island, the Ile de la Cité, on the evening of 22 April 2014.

“That evening, they were not police officers but usurpers unworthy of their badges and they behaved like the people they are supposed to bring to justice,” prosecuting attorney Philippe Courroye told the court.

“That evening, they went over to the wrong side.”

On the evening in question, Spanton accompanied the two officers to the headquarters after meeting them at a nearby Irish pub, and each party has widely different views of what happened.

Spanton testified that she was drunk when she met the officers at the pub. She said they invited her to their headquarters and that she was raped by up to three men.

DNA from three men was found on her underwear, but only that of the two accused could be identified.

The officers, aged 40 and 49, deny the rape charges and say Spanton willingly engaged in sex.

Courroye said the officers’ version “contains clear elements of a cover-up and obvious inconsistencies”.

Witnesses during the trial said Spanton was wobbling and joyful as she went into the headquarters and in a state of shock when she emerged 80 minutes later.

Judges are set to issue a verdict on Thursday.

The building at 36 Quai des Orfevres housed the French capital’s criminal investigation and units and has been depicted in many films, TV series and novels.

It attracted controversy in a different case in 2015, when a drug squad officer was accused of stealing 52 kg of cocaine from a sealed room.

The headquarters were moved to a new locale in the north of the capital in 2017.

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