ZACHAROPOULOU. Secretary of State Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is accused of gynecological rape by two women. An investigation is open and the government is awaiting the court decision to comment on the maintenance of the secretary.
[Mis à jour le 23 juin 2022 à 12h29] With two rape complaints filed against her in the space of a month, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is in turmoil. The Secretary of State for Development, La Francophonie and International Partnerships and trained gynecologist is accused of rape and gynecological violence by former patients. The alleged facts date back to 2016, 2018 and 2019 when the doctor practiced in Trousseau and Tenon hospitals, both members of the AP-HP. The complainants denounce non-consensual vaginal and rectal penetrations in a medical setting. The weekly Marianne revealed the existence of the two complaints filed respectively on May 25 and June 16, 2022, i.e. after the appointment of Chrysoula Zacharopoulou to the government. The Paris prosecutor’s office quickly followed up by opening an investigation on May 27 to “determine whether the facts are likely to fall within the scope of a criminal qualification”. The investigations are still under the responsibility of the personal crime repression brigade (BRDP).
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is the second minister to be accused of rape since the appointment of the Borne government. And as for the Damien Abab affair, the government refuses to speak or to take decisions without justice having decided. This morning on franceinfo, the government spokeswoman, Olivia Grégoire, recalled that “justice is seized and will decide” on the Zacharopoulou affair. The Voice of the Executive also described the secretary of state as “a gynecologist who has been practicing for many years, who has dedicated her life to supporting women with endometriosis.” Once again, the government promises that “if these complaints were to give rise to other acts of justice, decisions would be taken” but considers “essential that justice can work independently of political power, independently of the executive, so that she can carry out her investigations and provide a diagnosis and an answer”.
What are the charges against the gynecologist, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou?
Chrysoula Zacahropoulou is accused by two complainants who present themselves as former patients of the gynecologist and denounce acts of rape during a medical consultation. The two women, one of whom specifies that she was of legal age during the alleged facts, detailed their accusations on Wednesday evening in the program Daily. The author of the first complaint evokes a rectal penetration carried out according to her even though she had expressed the refusal of the medical examination. “I tell her no. I see that I don’t have a say and she puts on her glove. I started crying. Then she came back”, she says, specifying that she was “totally frozen, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe, I was cut off from everything. I was crying in silence. I said that I was in pain, she said to me: ‘No it’s ok, it’s not than a digital rectal examination.
The second complainant indicates that she was attacked in 2016 while consulting Chrysoula Zacharopoulou for problems with endometriosis, the specialty of the gynecologist and now Secretary of State. In her testimony, she recounts having undergone “”a vaginal examination without a word […] by surprise” and rectal penetration “without consent either”. Alleged acts which she describes as “brutal, violent and very painful”. Today, the former patient declares to be in a “post-traumatic state which is very difficult to manage”. She added to the microphone of Daily that during his consultation “all the young girls before me left the meeting in tears”.
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is also implicated by a third woman contacted by theAFP who explains that he experienced his gynecological consultation, again for pain linked to endometriosis, “at least like a sexual assault”. If she is said not to have filed a complaint at the time for fear of not being believed, today she is “hesitant” to do so. According to Sonia Bisch, founder of the Stop Obstetrical and Gynecological Violence association interviewed by BFM TVhis organization also received the testimonies of three other women who “denounce serious psychological violence where they felt humiliated, abused” during a medical consultation with Chrysoula Zacharopoulou.
Was the AP-HP informed of the rape complaints against Chrysoula Zacharopoulou?
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou worked as a gynecologist and endometriosis specialist in two AP-HP establishments: Trousseau Hospital and Tenon Hospital. According franceinfoshe practiced under the direction of Doctor Emile Daraï, who is also accused of rape and other gynecological violence by 25 patients and targeted by a judicial investigation for violence committed by a person exercising a public service mission but not for rape.
After the revelations on the accusations of gynecological rape against Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the director of the AP-HP, Martin Hirsch, spoke on Twitter, claiming to have “never heard of a complaint or report concerning Dr. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou “. Nearby Worldthe hospital association also indicated: “The CHU set up a commission of inquiry at the end of September 2021 following the accusations concerning Professor Émile Daraï” and “particular attention was paid to the reporting and treatment of patient complaints.
When was Chrysoula Zacharopoulou appointed to the government?
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou was appointed to the Borne government on May 20, 2022 to serve as Secretary of State for Development, La Francophonie and International Partnerships, under the leadership of Catherine Colonna, Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was one of the surprises of the reshuffle, in particular because her profession as a gynecologist suggests that the allocation of a portfolio dependent on the Ministry of Health would have been more appropriate. Her appointment to International Partnerships can be explained by the role she played in 2021 in the Covax system supposed to organize the delivery of vaccines against the coronavirus from Western countries to developing countries.
Secretary of State Chrysoula Zacharopoulou was, however, involved in politics before being a member of the executive. She notably joined The Republic on the move (LREM) in 2019 and was elected MEP the same year. In addition to her investment in the presidential party, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou was commissioned to conduct a study on endometriosis, a subject on which she holds a doctorate and for which she submitted a full report to Emmanuel Macron on January 11. 2022.
After Gérald Darmanin and more recently Damien Abad, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is the third government minister, but the only woman, to be implicated in sexual assault. She is also the only one being investigated. Contacted by franceinfoMatignon did not wish to comment on the case.
Endometriosis, politics… Who is Chrysoula Zacharopoulou?
Former LREM MEP and now Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is originally a doctor of gynecology. Born in Sparta, Greece, this Franco-Greek studied in Italy and graduated from the Roman university “La Sapienza”, she even holds a doctorate on endometriosis. A health subject on which she has worked a lot, especially since her arrival in France in 2007. She worked in the services of the Bégin army training hospital before joining the establishments of the AP-HP. In the name of her work on women’s disease, she was named a Knight of the National Order of Merit in 2017. Also as part of her fight for the recognition and management of endometriosis, she submitted a report to Emmanuel Macron on January 11, 2022 to improve the diagnosis of endometriosis.
From 2019 to 2022, as MEP, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou called on the European Union to make health a priority, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has also been since this period the co-president of Covax, a system which should allow disadvantaged countries to receive vaccines against the virus.