French policemen convicted of raping tourist they met at Irish bar

Two officers sentenced to prison for attack on Canadian at Paris police headquarters

File image of Nicolas R, one of the two French policemen convicted of assaulting a Canadian tourist in April 2014 in Paris. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

File image of Nicolas R, one of the two French policemen convicted of assaulting a Canadian tourist in April 2014 in Paris. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

 

Two French policemen have been convicted of gang rape and sentenced to seven years in prison over the assault of a Canadian tourist at the Paris police headquarters, 36 Quai des Orfevres.

The woman, Emily Spanton, said she met a group of officers in an Irish pub in April 2014 and they invited her for a night tour of police headquarters.

She said that after she arrived there she was forced to drink whiskey and perform sex acts, and was raped several times.

Ms Spanton first said that she had been raped by four officers, before revising her testimony to three. Only two policemen have been brought to court.

The two policemen, Antoine Q (40) and Nicolas R (49), were not named during the three-week hearing under a French law protecting those working in sensitive police jobs.

The officers, who at the time of the incident were both members of the BRI force that specialises in serious criminal cases, denied any wrongdoing and claim Ms Spanton consented to sexual interactions during an alcohol-fuelled evening.

Police found the officers had destroyed vital evidence including photographs and videos taken on the night.

Judges initially threw out the case, but the Paris prosecutor and Ms Spanton won their appeal to have it brought before a jury.

Widespread criticism

There has been widespread criticism of the handling of the case. Ms Spanton was tested for alcohol and drugs, questioned for five hours after the attack, and had her hotel room and computer searched. Investigators later travelled to Canada to question her friends and family.

Meanwhile, the two police officers returned home in the early hours of the morning in question without being breathalised. The crime scene was not secured and pieces of vital evidence disappeared. The officers were initially suspended but had since returned to work with the French police force. – AP/Guardian