seriality and prescription at the heart of the investigation

published on Friday, July 29, 2022 at 09:26

The investigation targeting Patrick Poivre d’Arvor changed its approach. The judges are now analyzing the cases of rape against him in general to determine their possible serial nature, which may be possible to avoid their prescription.

The former star presenter of TF1 television news, 74, has been accused by around thirty women of rape, sexual assault and/or harassment. He vehemently denied all of them and filed a complaint against the slanderous criticism.

Several investigations were launched.

In June 2021, the first preliminary investigation, which collected the testimony of 23 women, was dismissed by the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office (Hauts-de-Seine), mainly because of the prescription but also for “the absence of a punishment that sin” or “transgression of insufficient character. .

The second continued, seven other women testified.

At the same time, a judicial investigation was opened after the complaint of the writer Florence Porcel, who accused Patrick Poivre d’Arvor of forcing her to have sex in 2004 and fellatio in 2009.

The investigating judges responsible for this investigation decided to immediately reject the facts of 2004 – as blocked by time since 2014 – and investigate those of 2009.

A choice that was rejected at the end of June by the Versailles Court of Appeal, which recalled that the period of limitation, the time beyond which it is no longer possible to prosecute the perpetrator of an offense, is inevitable.

The starting point of the prescription can be postponed. If there is an investigative action, the starting point is no longer the date of creation of the facts but this action.

Similarly, if there is a link between the crimes – same author, modus operandi, goal or profile of the victims – a disruptive act for one of these crimes can disrupt the prescription of the other and set a new its starting point.

– “In front” –

The investigation of the PPDA must now be verified if the facts of 2004 are closely related to other non-prescribed violations, according to explanations obtained by AFP.

The investigating judge has yet to hear from the PPDA. But the latter gave his story during the preliminary closed investigation.

On May 18, 2021, he denied having any sexual relationship with Florence Porcel, accusing him of having “too much imagination”, according to the minutes of his hearing consulted by AFP.

He summed up their meeting in 2004, in his TF1 office, with a kiss “on the forehead”. Then “he brushed his lips against mine,” she said, making sure “there was no shadow of a quarter of intercourse”.

According to him, a former journalism student contacted him by telling him “about health problems”. “Touched by his message”, he “called her for a while”, said the PPDA, who insisted to the investigators of his sensitivity since the suicide of his daughter.

Florence Porcel, 21, attended her news and “asked her to kiss him” in her office, PPDA said.

Florence Porcel, he criticized a non-consensual intercourse, where Patrick Poivre d’Arvor would have declared: “now you are a woman”.

He described, in an interview with Le Parisien in 2021, a “state of total surprise” then fell “into denial” by persuading himself to be “in love” so as not to “collapse”.

Regarding the facts of 2009, he assured “no” many times.

– “This name means nothing to me” –

Twenty-two other women testified to rape, assault and/or sexual harassment between 1985 and 2003, mostly at the PPDA office.

The latter claimed not to remember some of them. “This name means nothing to me,” he repeated during his free audition.

“What interest do all these women have in lying to us?” asked a policeman. “Some people may be angry with me for forgetting them” or “maybe become activists”, replied the PPDA.

Testimonies show a “similar modus operandi” with “intimate questions” alleged by the PPDA to be asked, also outlined to the investigator: “are you in a relationship?”, “faithful?”, “naked?”, “Do you masturbate? ” ?”…

“Before entering into a relationship with someone, I need to know if this person is free and available. In other questions, I dispute them”, defended Mr. Poivre d’Arvor.

The testimonies “do not show you as a fraud but more of a sexual predator who got a sexual favor suddenly”, note the investigators. “It’s absolutely not me (…) I respect women,” defended the PPDA, whose lawyer did not respond to AFP.

Counsel for Ms Porcel and the other women declined to comment.

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