Dominique Boutonnat, France’s Film Board President, Indicted for Attempted Rape, Sexual Assault

Elsa Keslassy
·2-min read

Dominique Boutonnat, president of France’s powerful National Film Board (CNC), has been indicted for attempted rape and sexual assault on Thursday following a complaint filed by his 22-year-old godson on Oct. 7.

The news was confirmed by the court of Nanterre near Paris to the AFP. Boutonnat had been held in custody since Wednesday morning. The alleged sexual assault occurred in August during a holiday in Greece. Along with the indictment, Boutonnat is also being banned from contacting the alleged victim.

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The lawyer of the alleged victim, Caroline Toby, told the AFP that Boutonnat was a paternal figure for her client even though they were not related by blood.

Boutonnat’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, said on Wednesday that his client was denying the allegations against him, and said today that the indictment was “precipitated” since there hadn’t been a “confrontation” between Boutonnat and the alleged victim in front of French authorities during the custody.

Variety has contacted the CNC for comment. The organization 50/50, whose mandate is to help victims of sexual violence and increase gender parity and diversity in the industry, has demanded that Boutonnat step down from his position for the time being, so that “justice can carry on with the procedure.” But no decision has been made at this time.

“The collective 50/50 reminds the importance of respecting two presumptions: the presumption of innocence and the presumption of truth and sincerity of the alleged victims,” said the org in a statement posted on Twitter.

Boutonnat was appointed president of the CNC in July 2019 and initially faced a widespread backlash within the industry due his close ties with President Emmanuel Macron and his background as a producer and financier.

This accusation, however, comes as a shock, because the CNC has, under Boutonnat’s leadership, played an important role in setting up guidelines to fight against sexual harassment in the industry.

The allegations are the latest in a string of sex abuse scandals that have broken since the beginning of the year. Popular French actor Richard Berry was accused of incest by his daughter earlier this month, while prominent French political expert Olivier Duhamel was accused of sexually abusing his stepson in a book written by his stepdaughter Camille Kouchner last month. Both Duhamel and Berry have denied the claims.

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