Former Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit cleared of sexual assault charges

Michel Aupetit cleared

Former Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit (pictured) has been cleared of allegations of sexual assault.

The prosecutor’s office closed the investigation due to a lack of evidence of criminal activity.

In November 2022, French police began the investigation following a complaint filed by the Archdiocese of Paris that Aupetit had sexually assaulted a woman who was considered a vulnerable individual.

During the investigation, Aupetit vehemently denied any sentimental or sexual involvement with the individual.

The woman herself corroborated Aupetit’s statement during the investigation, stating that she remembered the situations clearly and did not believe any criminal offence had occurred.

Aupetit’s lawyer, Me Jean Reinhart, emphasised that there was never any ambiguity or inappropriate behaviour on his client’s part towards the woman.

“Mgr Aupetit approached the opening of this investigation with serenity because he was certain that it could only end with no further action being taken. He can continue to act in his pastoral mission without there being any difficulty from now on,” declared Me Reinhart.

This investigation had been preceded by a media frenzy, resulting in Aupetit’s resignation as Archbishop.

No valid reason for resignation

Archbishop Aupetit said he chose to step down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”

Pope Francis accepted the resignation at the end of November 2021.

However, just a few days later, in a candid conversation with journalists, Pope Francis admitted there was no valid reason for Aupetit’s resignation.

Francis acknowledged that Aupetit had been a victim of unfounded gossip, injustice and hypocrisy.

As a result of the recent decision by the prosecutor’s office to drop the charges against him, Michel Aupetit is now free from legal scrutiny.

Aupetit, who had served as the head of the Archdiocese of Paris since December 2017, has a long history of ministry including roles as a vicar, parish priest and chaplain to young people, before ascending to the position of bishop.


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