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An investigation into rape allegations against France's budget and public accounts minister, Gérald Darmanin, who denied them, has been dropped by prosecutors. But a complaint from another woman against the minister is now the subject of a preliminary investigation, amid allegations that as a mayor Darmanin abused his influence to gain sexual favours – claims he denies. The offence of “influence peddling” is often present in financial and fraud cases, but as Marine Turchi and Antton Rouget report, it can also be a suitable charge in cases of alleged “sexual corruption”.
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