French junior minister probed after sex claims

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Prosecutors said Wednesday that they had launched a probe after a French junior minister was accused of sexually harassing staff of a town hall where he is mayor.

"If the facts alleged are established, they could come under the headings of sexual aggression and rape," said prosecutor Marie-Suzanne Le Queau.

A complaint was lodged earlier Wednesday against civil service minister Georges Tron, whom lawyer Gilbert Collard has accused of harassment on behalf of two former municipal employees in the Paris suburb of Draveil.

Tron, who has linked the case to a feud with relatives of right-wing National Front leader Marine Le Pen living in Draveil, will respond with a charge of slander, his lawyer Olivier Schnerb told AFP.

Le Queau said that after examining the evidence prosecutors could decide to shelve the case, refer it to an examining magistrate or send it straight for trial, depending on the seriousness of the offence alleged.

© 2011 AFP

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