A Toronto woman is the alleged victim in a rape investigation where four members of a French police tactical squad have been detained after she said they assaulted her at their Paris headquarters.
The woman, who was in Paris this week as a tourist, is a former Toronto-area police service employee and the daughter of a ranking police officer, according to two French newspaper reports.
The officers are members of the Brigade de recherche et d’intervention, an elite tactical squad that also handles anti-gang operations.
On Friday, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed that four officers had been taken into custody for questioning and pledged that the justice system and investigators would get to the bottom of “acts that could have been committed by police officers.”
During a speech to police in Marseilles, Mr. Cazeneuve said: “Of course, in my duty as Interior Minister, I will impose all the necessary sanctions should the investigation establish those facts.”
The incident allegedly took place during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday and began at an Irish pub on Quai des Grands-Augustins, in central Paris, near the 36 Quai des Orfèvres historic police headquarters on Île de la Cité, an island in the Seine.
Officers drinking at the pub that evening approached the woman because they recognized her, the newspaper Le Figaro reported, adding that the woman is the daughter of a Canadian police commander and had been to that pub before.
The woman is from Toronto and told the officers that she worked for “her hometown’s municipal police,” according to another newspaper, Le Parisien.
The woman had arrived in France the previous Friday for a two-week vacation, Le Parisien said.
The group then went to the police headquarters later that night. According to Le Figaro, it was so one of the officer could pick up his keys.
According to several media reports, the woman later came out in a highly agitated state, holding her shoes in her hands and alleging that she had been raped.
She gave a deposition and the four officers are being held for questioning while investigations are being conducted by the Paris prosecutor’s office and France’s national police inspection service.
The four officers are a major, a brigadier, a captain and a lieutenant, Le Parisien said.
The officer who invited the woman into the police headquarters could also face administrative penalties for having allowed an unauthorized visitor.
Surveillance-camera videos of the building are being verified, Le Figaro said.
“If there was a fault, it was an administrative fault and it will be up to their administrator, the Interior Ministry, to deal with it,” French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told Europe 1 radio.
“For the rest, if they committed a crime, that will be sorted out and decisions will be made.”