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Dominique Boutonnat, French CNC President, Faces Sexual Assault Trial  

Dominique Boutonnat, president of France’s state film financing body the National Cinema Center (CNC), will face a criminal trial on accusations of the sexual assault of his adult godson.

One of the most powerful figures in French cinema, Boutonnat has been under police investigation since the criminal complaint was filed against him in October 2020. He was indicted in February 2021. Boutonnat’s godson, with whom he has no family ties, accused him of sexually assaulting him during a family holiday in Greece. The godson was 21 at the time.

Boutonnat has denied all allegations against him.

There were widespread calls within the French industry for Boutonnat to be suspended until the criminal case against him was resolved. But, despite the accusations and the indictment, he was reappointed for a second, three-year term as head of the CNC in July.

France’s Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak defended the decision at the time, citing the “presumption of innocence” and, in an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien calling Boutonnat a “pioneer in the fight against sexual and sexist violence.”

The allegations against Boutonnat came shortly after he introduced a new initiative to combat sexual violence in the film and TV industry in France.

A former producer and financier of such films as The Intouchables, Polisse and A Perfect Plan, Boutonnat also has close ties to French president Emmanuel Macron and was a prominent donor to Macron’s 2017 election campaign.

News service AFP was the first to report on Boutonnat’s case going to trial.

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