Deputy mayor of Paris resigns over links with alleged child rapist
A deputy mayor of Paris resigned Thursday following protests over his links with alleged child sex abuser Gabriel Matzneff, an award-winning writer.
Christophe Girard, one of newly re-elected mayor Anne Hidalgo's deputies, told AFP he had no desire to have the issue "ruin" his life nor did he feel he had to "justify myself permanently for something that does not exist."
Opposition politicians and women's groups have asked for 64-year-old Girard's suspension and the opening of an internal investigation over ties to Matzneff, who is under investigation following claims by Vanessa Springora of a tortured under-age relationship with the author.
Matzneff is to stand trial next year on a charge of justifying paedophilia, and prosecutors launched a rape investigation the day after Springora's bestselling book, "Consent", was published.
A second woman has also claimed she was groomed and controlled by the writer.
Girard, in charge of cultural affairs for the Paris government, was questioned in March in connection with the investigation into Matzneff.
He was a senior executive at Yves-Saint Laurent in 1986 and 1987, when the design house provided financial support to Matzneff.
Matzneff had told the New York Times that thanks to Girard, he was able to stay for free at a hotel for two years with Springora.
In her book, Springora said staying at the hotel allowed Matzneff to evade police.
A member of Hidalgo's team said she welcomed Girard's "courageous" decision to step down.
Matzneff has never made any secret of his preference for sex with adolescent girls and boys.
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