Minister of François Mitterrand and then of François Hollande, Jean-Michel Baylet went this Tuesday to the brigade for the protection of minors, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, to be confronted with Nathalie Collin, who accuses him of rape of a minor.
According to Nathalie Collin, Jean-Michel Baylet would have raped her when she was 12 to 14 years old.
The abuses would have started during a vacation in Greece organized by his parents, then close to the former president of the Radical Left Party (PRG).
She arrived at the headquarters of the Paris judicial police a few minutes earlier, accompanied by her lawyer.
"I want shame to change sides"
On his denunciation, the Paris prosecutor's office opened on June 9, 2020 an investigation for “rape” and “sexual assault” on minors under 15 years old.
10 years ago, an old relation of the Baylet family had denounced acts of rape targeting Nathalie Collin.
At the time, the complainant claimed that nothing had happened.
But today the situation has changed.
"I want shame to change sides," said Nathalie Collin in March, a few days after the free hearing of the former minister, which took place at the end of February.
Jean-Michel Baylet disputes these accusations, "false", according to him.
The former president of the Radical Left Party (1996-2016) and former senator has participated four times in left governments, under the presidency of François Mitterrand and then François Hollande.
Secretary of State then Minister between 1984 and 1993, he again became Minister in February 2016, this time for Regional Planning, Rural Affairs and Territorial Communities.
Political manipulation, according to him
Jean-Michel Baylet is also one of the owners and president of the La Dépêche du Midi press group, and is vice-president of the General Information Press Alliance.
Current mayor of Valence-d'Agen (Tarn-et-Garonne), he was re-elected to the departmental council of Tarn-et-Garonne but decided to leave the presidency of the department.
Read alsoWhy investigate prescribed facts?
Nathalie Collin is the daughter of former PRG Senator Yvon Collin, a long-time old friend of Jean-Michel Baylet.
From now on, the two men no longer speak to each other.
In March 2021, Jean-Michel Baylet returned to the affair, in his own newspaper, and accused Yvon Collin of being at the origin of the affair: "Through Nathalie Collin, this man wants to destroy me
, he had declared.
The Paris prosecutor's office has made a habit of systematically opening inquiries into accusations of sexual violence against minors, even if the facts are apparently prescribed, in order to verify the facts and to look for possible other non-prescribed assaults.