Dominique Boutonnat, the president of France’s most powerful entertainment body the National Film Board (CNC), has been ordered to stand trial for an alleged sexual assault on his 22 year-old godson, Variety has confirmed.
Boutonnat was just appointed by the French government to serve a second three-year mandate as president, despite the fact that he has been indicted for the alleged sexual assault since February 2021.
The Nanterre public prosecutor’s office requested that Boutonnat’s case should be brought before a criminal court back in April, following a 14-month investigation. A judge then had to determine whether to drop the case or order Boutonnat to face trial, and ultimately ruled the latter. The news agency AFP was first to report the news.
The alleged sexual assault occurred in August 2020 during a family holiday in Greece. Boutonnat’s godson, who is now either 23 or 24, filed a police complaint accusing Boutonnat of sexual assault and attempted rape roughly two months later, on Oct. 7. The attempted rape charge was then dropped by prosecutors.
Boutonnat, a former producer and financier who was appointed president of the CNC in July 2019, is known for having close ties to President Emmanuel Macron. His reelection was championed by France’s new culture minister, Rima Abdul Malak, who told Le Parisien newspaper in June that the presumption of innocence must be respected since the ruling had not been delivered.
Several film organizations, including the SRF (France’s directors’ guild) and 50/50, the feminist and advocacy group, issued statements protesting the prospects of having Boutonnat serve a second mandate, but they were in vain.
Despite his legal troubles, Boutonnat has maintained a prominent profile at industry events. The executive recently attended the Venice Film Festival and turned up at Cannes and the French TV festival Series Mania in Lille, where he gave a speech on behalf of the CNC.