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The Paris-Match cover on PPDA, accused of rape and sexual assault, is unfair to the “dozens of women [qui] pass by” for Cécile Delarue.
JUSTICE – The penalty for a slanderous complaint is five years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros, says article 226-10 of the penal code. What the lawyer’s bible doesn’t say, however, is that libel suits can also generate powerful momentum. This is more or less the case for what should now be called the PPDA case.
While Patrick Poivre d’Arvor continues to deny the accusations of sexual assault and rape against him since the first complaint filed by Florence Porcel in February 2021, this Tuesday, May 10, 20 women testified live on the Mediapart set in front of journalists Valentín . Oberti and Mathieu Magnaudeix.
> Update on PPDA complaints and investigations
The image of these 20 women, two of whom spoke with their backs to the camera for fear of reprisals, marks a new stage after more than a year of revelations through powerful portraits in Releaseor announce new complaints against the journalist. But in recent weeks the situation has changed with the PPDA defamation complaint against 16 of the women who accuse him.
The journalist was also invited to speak for the newspaper, but he refused and continues to deny. For the moment, a first investigation into a large part of the complaints has been dismissed due to prescription or lack of evidence. However, another judicial investigation is under way following a new complaint filed by Florence Porcel.
The defamation complaint, an electric shock
For its part, unlike its first complaint for a slanderous complaint that was dismissed, on this occasion the PPDA has initiated civil action against those who, in its opinion, harbor an “aggressiveness that leads them to commit, by late revenge, the crime of slander”. complaint”.
Enough to give his accusers an electric shock as Valentine Oberti told the HuffPost:: “We have been talking to them for a show for a while. And this denunciation triggered in them the desire to speak”.
And this is precisely what the journalist Hélène Devynck pointed out on the set, also on the set of media partwho spoke of “the violence of the PPDA which means that we have to do it [ndlr: de parler]”, which Margot Cauquil-Gleizes, a teacher, who testified for the first time.
“This is the first time that I have declared publicly in response to the filing of a complaint by Mr. Poivre d’Arvor for slanderous denunciation. Being here today, with my face uncovered, is a way of telling him that I am not afraid and that I stand by my testimony, that is, that he raped me when I was a minor, I was 17 years old, and that I sexually assaulted the 24 years old”, he explained at the beginning of the program.
A desire to speak and react, as had already been caused in November 2021 by the interview granted by PPDA on the Diario set. At that time, only Florencia Porcel had spoken openly, but already the rumor of other stories to come was gaining momentum.
The journalist’s denials against Yann Barthès gave rise to the MeTooMédias association, which fights against violence in the media. That afternoon on TMC, “the mode of defense chosen by the journalist shocked many women, including many victims of his actions,” reports the association’s website, which specifies that after this interview, 22 women went to speak to the court.
go to court
But the scope of the PPDA affair cannot be measured by the media coverage alone. By filing a defamation complaint, he brings these women together on the set of Mediapart, but also soon in court. A legal appointment therefore, which will not be without risks.
“Thank you Patricio for offering us on a platter the test that we were not allowed to have by medical prescription. He shoots himself in the foot”, thus greeted in the parisian, the journalist Emmanuelle Dancourt, who filed a complaint in 2021 against the journalist for a sexual assault of which she was allegedly the victim in 2008. very determined. We will finally be able to talk to him face to face, if he dares to come,” she added.
Something to echo the analysis of this psychiatrist specializing in sexual and gender violence interviewed by Madmoizelle. In particular, he recalled that support groups for victims of sexual violence are “a real cocoon of strength built by and for the victims, a new self-defense weapon feared by the perpetrators of violence, who want above all to isolate their victims” . .
The earlier Baupin
If, in addition, the complaint for defamation in cases of sexual violence is reprimanded as a method of “silence” for the victims, passing through the court can sometimes reverse the accusation. This was illustrated by the Denis Baupin case. In 2016, eight women, including Sandrine Rousseau, accused the elected EELV of sexual harassment, including sexual assault. Other testimonies flow, an investigation is opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office, but it is finally closed without further action by prescription. The prosecutor acknowledges, however, that certain “facts denounced (…) are for some of them likely to be criminally qualified.”
Denis Baupin then decides to file a lawsuit for defamation. A trial at the end of which he himself will finally be sentenced to compensation for “abuse of civil action”. During weeks of hearings, and as prosecutors recounted the sexual violence on the stand, the charge was dropped. The defamation trial has become the freedom of expression trial.
Even more recently, Pierre Joxe had his appeal dismissed when he challenged a decision by the Paris Court of Appeal. The latter had chosen to overturn the defamation conviction of Anne Fornia, who accused the former minister of sexual assault. The same goes for Patrick Brion’s appeal, whom Sandra Muller accused of sexual harassment for launching the hashtag “balance your pig”.
For PPDA, in addition to this lawsuit for defamation against their accusers, there is the the parisian to take place in 2023 according to Mediapart, another ongoing investigation against Release. Above all, unlike the Baupin case, all the facts of which the journalist is accused are not time-barred and various proceedings continue.
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