The commission to combat harassment and discrimination of the PS has definitively excluded from the party, for the first time, a mayor of Puy-de-Dôme accused of rape of a minor, we learned this Friday, June 2 from concordant sources and confirming information from Mediapart.
A young socialist activist from Montluçon (Allier), Chloé Darochas, had filed a complaint in 2020, closed since. She claims to have been forced into a sexual relationship in 2017 with another activist, Anthony Palermo, when she was 16 years old, himself 21 years old at the time of the facts. Anthony Palermo has since been elected mayor of Saint-Eloy-les-Mines (Puy-de-Dôme), a town of 3500 inhabitants, in 2020.
"Nothing more to do with this party"
The elected "does not dispute having had a sexual relationship" with the young woman but "believes that it was consensual," says the commission in its decision rendered in mid-April and consulted by AFP. However, "the psychiatric expertise carried out as part of the criminal investigation made it possible to establish that the victim's word could not be questioned in its foundation," adds the commission. Therefore, the elected representative has "by his behavior towards " the young woman "failed in his duties and obligations as a member of the Socialist Party" from which he is "definitively excluded".
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The Socialist Party indicated that this was the first decision in this direction by the commission, installed at the Villeurbanne congress in September 2021. At the last municipal elections in 2020, the PS had sanctioned three candidates, refusing to invest them on behalf of the party, for cases of sexual or domestic violence, real or supposed. Anthony Palermo told AFP that he himself resigned from the party on January 2: "I took this decision because the PS had informed me that it had to hear me while the complaint had been closed and I did not want to put my comrades in Puy-de-Dôme at odds with each other," he justified. The elected official who does not intend to resign from his functions as mayor, ensures that he has "nothing more to do with this party that does not respect a court decision", repeating that his relations with the young woman were consensual.
Chloé Darochas for her part told AFP to be "relieved of this exclusion which is welcome because it was complicated for me to be in the ranks of my executioner and better late than never". It plans to file a second complaint with the constitution of civil party with the pole of Cusset (Allier). Another victim has since filed a complaint for the same acts committed in 2014, according to her. "I am not informed of this complaint," said Anthony Palermo, assuring that if this is the case he would go "quietly to any summons so that the light is made".