Paris (AFP)

Charged with two rapes he contests, Tariq Ramadan is at the center of an investigation that has uncovered contradictions in France accusers, but also collected new testimonies of former sexual partners, who denounce the "hold" exercised by the Islamologist 56 years.

A fourth complaint in France

The first two complaints of October 2017 are at the heart of the investigation that caused the fall of this controversial figure of European Islam: an old Salafist, Henda Ayari, denounces a rape in Paris in the spring of 2012, and a woman, nicknamed Christelle in the media, accuses the intellectual of having raped her in October 2009 in Lyon.

For these two facts, Tariq Ramadan is indicted since February 2018. He first denied any sexual relationship with them, before being contradicted by the investigation and now pleads "relations granted". After almost ten months of detention, he was released in mid-November with a ban on leaving the country.

In March 2018, a third complainant, Mounia Rabbouj, denounced nine rapes between 2013 and 2014. The preacher then recognized extramarital relations with this former escort-girl and four other women. For these facts, he has not been indicted to date.

In mid-July, a fourth woman denounced a rape allegedly committed on 23 May 2014 by the Islamologist and one of her friends at the Sofitel in Lyon, where she had come to interview him. She also claims to have received last January the visit of two unknowns warning against any idea "ill-intentioned" against Mr. Ramadan.

The Paris prosecutor immediately asked the investigating judges to investigate these new facts.

The defense of the Islamologist denounces, she, a "new runaway media without checks".

Also accused of rape by a woman in Switzerland, it must be heard this fall in Paris by a Geneva prosecutor.

Expertise contradicts an accuser

Hundreds of 2009 text messages exited from Christelle's phone forced Mr. Ramadan to turn around. In anticipation of their first appointment, after months of virtual relationship, the Islamologist detailed his sexual fantasies violent and domineering.

However, the defense, to demonstrate a consented relationship, put forward ambivalent messages from Henda Ayari and Christelle, including the SMS where she wrote "I missed you as soon as I passed the door". In the face of the judges, Christelle argued that this message, not timestamped, was prior to the meeting.

But a new expertise of his phone, consulted by AFP, has confirmed that the message was sent the day after the appointment.

"My client was wrong, she regrets it, but it's the fear and the hold that dictated these messages," says his lawyer Eric Morain. He denounces "the manipulation and perversity" messages sent by the preacher to "compel his victims", like the day after the events where Tariq Ramadan wrote: "I felt your embarrassment? Sorry for my + violence +".

"She was a witness to a crime, even on herself, and it was urgent that Tariq Ramadan be reassured that she would not go to complain," says Morain.

"When these women filed a complaint, they spoke of rape with violence, not at all of influence", denounces Me Emmanuel Marsigny. "This idea appeared when we discovered all these messages that show that these sexual relations were made".

Testimony of "hold"

The criminal brigade auditioned this year several other women whose photos, often erotic in nature, were found on the computers of Mr. Ramadan. One of them testifies to "quite classic sexual relations", another tells a "love relationship" that she believed exclusive for 8 years, saying "disappointed" to have been deceived but taking her defense: " He is not a rapist.

Conversely, two young women claim to have been "under the influence" of this "manipulator" who trained each of them, in 2015 and 2016, in a virtual "dominated-dominated" relationship before a brutal meeting. "I asked him to be sweeter, but he said to me + it's your fault, you deserve it + (...) and that it was necessary to obey, what I did," reported one of them.

"It is of another order that physical rape, it goes beyond (...) there is a moral rape," explained the second. "He has such a hold on you that we are doing everything he asks of us ... But this relationship has been granted, yes, it would be another offense for this kind of person," he said. she adds.

Neither of them wanted to make a complaint.

© 2019 AFP