The 'sexual corruption' claims against France's budget minister

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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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The affair involving the French government's budget and public accounts minister, Gérald Darmanin, is not one of morality, but of alleged corruption. Two women have lodged formal complaints against the minister, both of them accusing him of abusing his position as an elected representative to obtain sexual favours from them. They claim that he promised to intervene on their behalf, in the first case over a criminal conviction, in the case case over a housing request.