Two arrested over suspected rape of tourist in Paris park: prosecutors

PARIS (AFP): French authorities have detained two men on suspicion of taking part in an alleged gang rape of a Mexican tourist in the Champ de Mars park, which lies at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, prosecutors said Friday.

The men were detained on Thursday in an ongoing investigation into the suspected rape of the woman, Paris prosecutors said.

The Le Parisien daily, which first reported the incident, said that the 27-year-old woman was attacked by five men, meaning that three suspects were still at large. This has not been confirmed by prosecutors.

The Champ de Mars is a large park extending from the Eiffel Tower which is hugely popular with tourists and locals.

It will be a key site during the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris when beach volleyball is to be held at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and judo and wrestling at the temporary Arena Champ de Mars at the other end of the park.

Unlike most Paris parks which close during the night, the Champ de Mars can be accessed round-the-clock.

The reported rape revived pressure on Paris’s Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo to close the park at night for safety reasons.

“How many sexual assaults and rapes does Anne Hidalgo expect there to be before she agrees to close the Champ de Mars at night so that Parisians and tourists are safe?” said Rachida Dati right-wing mayor of Paris 7th district where the park is located arrondissement, on Twitter which is being rebranded as X.