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France tests DNA of 100 policemen as part of tourist rape probe

AFP| File photo

A hundred police officers and other employees of the Judicial Police in Paris will submit to DNA tests starting Thursday as part of an investigation into the alleged 2014 rape of a Canadian tourist by a group of officers.

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The operation is "unprecedented in scale in the context of a criminal proceeding", one police source told AFP.

Led by France’s General Inspectorate of the National Police, known as the “police of the police”, the inquiry is trying to determine the identity of a suspect whose genetic material was found on the underwear of the young woman. Three distinct DNA traces were found on her clothing: those of the two main suspects and a third that remains unidentified.

A source close to the proceedings said the DNA tests would be conducted over three days.

The victim met the off-duty officers from the anti-gang unit on April 22, 2014, at an Irish pub across from the Judicial Police headquarters at 36 quai des Orfèvres. They offered to show her around the storied building known in Paris simply as number “36”.

The 34-year-old woman reportedly later emerged in tears, visibly shocked and saying she was raped. She filed a criminal complaint and the suspects were taken into custody. The officers all initially denied having had sex with the woman but one later admitted before a judge that he had had “consensual sexual relations” with her.

Two officers from the unit have been indicted. A third has been classified as an “assisted witness”, a French legal distinction that lies somewhere between being a suspect and being a witness. The designation indicates that the person is suspected of being implicated in an offense but is not directly accused of committing a crime.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has suspended all three men from duty.

According to a source familiar with the matter, a police analysis has shown that text messages and "explicit" videos were deleted from a cell phone belonging to one of the suspects.

The victim’s DNA was also found on the boxer shorts of both the indicted policemen, according to the source.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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