French minister accused of rape, refuses to resign
Damien Abad has strongly refuted the accusations, and thus refuses to step down.
Damien Abad, who has recently been appointed the French Minister of Solidarity and the Disabled as part of Macron's government is facing rape accusations, which he strongly denied, insisting that he will not resign.
The 42-year-old was forced to make a statement after 2 women accused him of rape in 2010 and 2011.
Abad contended that he suffers from a condition called arthrogryposis, which affects his limbs, and that therefore he is not capable of sexual assault.
“I contest with the greatest force the accusations against me. All the sexual relations I have had in my life have always been consenting. These accusations are deeply wounding for me and my entourage,” he said on Monday.
“I’ve always avoided making an issue of my disability. I am forced to do it now to defend myself and even talk about intimate matters in detail to explain that the acts I am accused of were materially impossible. My dignity and integrity have been attacked."
“I repeat strongly, I have never raped a single woman in my life. To address these subjects in public is extremely painful for me so now I am going to concentrate on my job as a minister.”
Asked if he would stand down, Abad responded, “Should an innocent man resign? I don’t believe so.”
The allegations were published on Mediapart, an investigative website. One of the women mentioned in the accusations alleged that in 2010, she went to dinner with Abad, drank a glass of champagne, then woke up in a hotel almost naked.
The second woman said she spent a night with him in 2011, alleging that while she initially gave him consent, she, later on, asked him to stop, which he did not do. In 2012, the accuser said she was not able to complete a legal complaint until 2017, after which the inquiry closed as the investigators did not have enough evidence.
Elisabeth Borne, the new French Prime Minister, commented on the matter, saying “I will be very clear: on all these subjects of harassment, sexual assault, there can be no impunity and we must continue to act so that women who may be victims of assault and harassment, can speak freely."
The government will handle the consequences of appointing Abad “if there are new elements and a new case is opened.”