Four French police officers are in custody after allegations they sexually assaulted a Toronto woman vacationing in Paris this week, according to French media.
Local newspapers report the victim is a woman in her 30s who is the daughter of a Toronto police officer, and has previously been an employee of a GTA police force.
The four officers involved — two peacekeepers and two officers who work for the Research and Intervention Brigade, which investigates gang crime — were still in custody Friday morning, the newspaper Le Monde reported. They were not on duty at the time of the alleged attack.
The assault is alleged to have occurred late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, after the woman and the officers met at an Irish bar located near the historic police headquarters, known locally as 36 quai des Orfèvres, which sits on the banks of the Seine.
After some time at the bar, the officers and woman left to visit the police headquarters so she could see the historic building, according to various reports. Le Figaro, another newspaper, cited a source close to the investigation who said one of the officers needed to go back the building to retrieve his keys.
Citing an anonymous judicial source, Le Monde said the woman was “perky and cheerful” when she arrived at the building, but a few hours later, an orderly in the building saw her crying and said she looked shocked.
According to reports, the officers have denied the allegations. Three of them are alleged to be directly involved in the assault, while one other officer spoke to the woman afterward.
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Friday that Canadian consular officials are “providing assistance to a Canadian citizen in Paris, France and continue to engage local authorities to gather more information.”
An official told the Star the department could not provide any further details.
Le Figaro reported that initial medical examinations were not able to determine if there had been a forced sexual encounter.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve vowed Friday to take “all the necessary measures” if the allegations turn out to be true.
The bar was reportedly the Galway Irish Pub Paris. An employee who answered the phone at the busy pub Friday hung up on a reporter, saying “Enough, already.”
The Facebook page for the bar suggests Tuesday was a rowdy night:
“It may be raining cats and dogs outside, but it’s raining TEQUILA at the Galway!! Come down for a 2.50 euro shot!”
- With files from The Canadian Press