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Paris police officer who insulted sexual assault victim suspended

The officer accidentally left a voicemail on a woman’s phone, calling her a ‘slut’ and a ‘b*tch’ 

Sign on a building saying Police Nationale, with a French flag flying

The police officer who made the insulting voicemail has now been suspended, as the public prosecutor considers its response to the incident Pic: Cineberg / Shutterstock

A policeman who made misogynistic and insulting comments towards a woman who was in the process of reporting a sexual assault has been condemned and suspended by the prosecutor of Paris.

The policeman was found to have inadvertently left an insulting message on the woman’s answerphone after she had come to the station to report an assault.

On a recording released by Mediapart, the police officer can be heard calling the woman “a slut” and insulting her several times following her report.

The 34-year-old woman, known as Elodie (a pseudonym), had come to the station of the 5th and 6th arrondissements after having been out in the Quartier Latin during the night of February 4. 

She said that she had come across a group of men while she was out, and had “felt fingers touch [my vulva] in front and behind.”

She hesitated to report it but later decided to do so. The suspected perpetrator was arrested and an inquiry was opened, and Elodie said she had “felt listened to” when at the station, “even though one police officer did question me about what I was wearing.”

Yet, upon returning home, Elodie said she had received a voicemail from the station, with the voice of a different police officer to the one who had taken down her report.

The voicemail began normally. It said: “Yes, hello, Paris police station of the 5th and 6th arrondissements. I'm calling you back regarding what happened yesterday. Listen, please call me back as soon as possible. I will need you to go through the facts again."

The police officer then believed that he had put down the phone, but was in fact still connected.

The call recorded him joking with one of his colleagues, saying: “I'll have to call her back anyway because she's probably sleeping it off! Obviously, she doesn’t want to be confronted. She really is a slut. What a surprise.”

Still not realising he was being recorded, the police officer said: "She doesn’t want to be confronted, the b*tch. I bet this was just to scare the guy and break his balls. First she gives the guy a hard time [not letting herself be touched] and then she wants a whole investigation just to give him a harder time [with a hearing and possibly criminal record/fine/arrest]... F***ing b*tch."

After a few seconds of silence, the phone then finally hung up.

After having heard the voicemail, the woman returned to the station, where a female police officer promised to “escalate this up the hierarchy.”

Elodie then made a formal complaint to the national police inspectorate, the Inspection générale de la Police nationale (IGPN).

The police officer in question has now been suspended, and the Paris prosecutor is now investigating the report, in a bid to decide what, if any, punishment may be required. 

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