French authorities granted the latest request from a woman who claimed she was raped by the president of the nation’s mind-body museum, but it’s been more than three years since the case was filed.
In a landmark ruling on Thursday, the court said that the woman was not “capable of proving that she was harmed by the abuse” and she “is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.”
The ruling is a major victory for the woman who went to police in April 2016 and sued the countrys former head of its mental health institute, Michel Bauza, in 2013.
The court ruled that the former president’s “carelessness” and “gross negligence” of his staff “resulted in the sexual abuse of a mentally ill person,” the AFP news agency reported.
The woman had claimed that she had been raped by Bauzas son, Jean-Michel, who is now in his 60s.
Bauzeras has denied the allegations.
His lawyer, Jean Claude De Clerck, said the court’s ruling was “the culmination of decades of work” to bring the case to light.
Bauzares family has denied any involvement in the abuse.
His brother, a senior member of the ruling Socialist party, said it was a “political issue” for the family to “make” the case.
“I am not saying he is guilty of any crime,” the brother told French daily Le Parisien on Wednesday.
“But he is responsible for his own carelessness and gross negligence, and we have to ask ourselves what is the right course for the French state?”
The woman, whose name has not been released, claimed that the sexual assault took place in the presidential residence in the Louvre’s Colosseum in December 2016.
She had also accused Bauzeas of abusing her at his own home, but the former head said he had never touched her.
The case sparked outrage and led to a major backlash in France.
It led to an inquiry by the nations senate into Bauzes alleged abuse.
It also led to the French government imposing sanctions on Bauzinga, including the closure of the museum’s mental health services.