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Police from an elite French unit found guilty of gang rape of a Canadian tourist

Jackie Dunham, Employees

Published Thursday, January 31, 2019 12:07 EST

Updated Thursday, January 31, 2019 12:19 EST

Two French police officers were sentenced to seven years in prison after they were convicted of raping a Canadian tourist at the headquarters of the Paris police almost five years ago. They have 10 days to appeal the verdict.

Two officers were accused of raping Emily Spanton at a prestigious station at 36 Quai des Orfevres after meeting her at a nearby Irish pub when they were not working in April 2014.

According to court documents, the police invited a 39-year-old woman from Toronto to a night tour of the station after a night of flirting and drunkenness. The victim claimed that she was forced to drink whiskey, have oral sex and were raped several times before she left the building after an hour and a half.

Both former officers denied any wrongdoing. They claim that the woman agreed to have sexual intercourse that night.

After the sentence was read, Spanton wept as she sat a few meters from the officers.

One of the accused shook his head in disbelief and also wept, Daniele Amamdjian reported on Thursday from the CTV News Paris court.

Throughout the trial, lawyers for the accused raised questions about the woman’s lifestyle, her behavior with men and pointed out inconsistencies in her story, said Hamamjian.

According to Hamamjian, the women’s lawyers formulated their argument as a lawsuit about consent, stating that their client arrived at the police department “happy and cheerful” and left in complete shock. The woman reported the alleged crime to a woman on duty.

On Thursday, the trial was under close media attention, since the defendants were members of an elite police unit that was responsible for storming the theater in Bataclan on the night of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015.

As a result, the victim’s demands were initially rejected because the officers were considered heroes at the time, Hamamjyan said.

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