A former senior manager at the French ministry of culture is on trial for spiking young women’s drinks with diuretics to watch them urinate in front of him and with taking upskirt photos over a 10-year period, local media report.
For 10 years, Christian N. slipped diuretics into the drinks of young female job candidates, then took them on lengthy tours of the city until the drug kicked in, forcing them to urinate out in the open while he hid them from the public with his jacket and watched. He also sneaked photographs from up their skirts as they sat before him in his office.
The former deputy regional director of cultural affairs for the Grand Est region, Christian N. documented the details of his perversions in a spreadsheet, that contained nearly 200 names and behavioral notes, by the time he was finally caught in the act last June and suspended from his post that October. A year later, he has finally been brought to account for his disturbing acts, but questions swirl as to how he was able to get away with his dirty deeds for so long. French outlet Libération spoke to the official, to five of his victims and to several ministry sources, publishing a lengthy investigation of the case on Thursday.
Charged with administration of a harmful substance, sexual assault by a person abusing his position of authority, photographic breach of privacy, and drug law offenses, Christian N. was indicted late last month. He has admitted to drugging and photographing the women, calling his behavior “compulsive” and claiming he wished he had stopped before things got out of hand, though he estimated he’d only victimized 10 to 20 women. While one of his victims was hospitalized with a severe urinary infection, he claimed he was unaware the diuretics he’d used could cause medical issues.
The minister acted out his watery fantasies mostly on young female job candidates, many seeking their first employment, which limited his victims’ recourse. Last June, however, he was seen by a colleague photographing the legs of a subprefect of Moselle during a meeting and reported this to his superiors. When investigators looked at his computer, they found the spreadsheet – titled “Experiments” – containing the record of his deviance.
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Known sarcastically as “the photographer” among employees of the ministry for his tendency to take creepshots of women’s legs in the cafeteria, Christian N. shockingly spent two years on the High Council for Equality Between Women and Men. He previously headed Human Resources for the department, leaving his victims nowhere to turn – he was the authority they would have reported him to. At least one victim said she wrote letters to his supervisors, only to receive no response; another went to the police, only to be told he was an individual of high standing and the complaint would not be taken seriously, according to Libération.
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