French prosecutors close rape investigation into former Elite Models management executive Gérald Marie

Marie was the subject of a criminal investigation lasting more than two years for a series of alleged sexual assault and rape offenses that took place in the 1980s and 1990s.

Prosecutors closed the investigation on Monday, arguing that the alleged crimes took place too long ago to fall within the French statute of limitations for trial, Agence France-Presse reported. A woman who initially filed a complaint as part of the investigation said she would appeal the decision, according to AFP. She and other women also continue to pursue a civil complaint against the executive branch, the story said.

The news is a setback for Marie’s accusers and advocacy group Model Alliance, which has supported legal action in cases of abuse in the industry. The organization has helped models press charges against Marie, claiming that at least 16 women have accused the former modeling executive of rape and sexual assault.

“Today is a difficult day for survivors,” the New York-based organization said in a statement responding to the news on Wednesday. “We stand with the resilient group of survivor leaders in our community who bravely reported the abuse they faced at the hands of Marie as young models in pursuit of justice.”

Celine Beckerman, a lawyer representing Marie, said the ruling demonstrated her client’s innocence, calling the accusations against the executive branch “an infamous media campaign.”

Former supermodel Carré Sutton (née Otis), who filed her own lawsuit against Marie in 2021 and cooperated in the French case, described the news of her closure as “heartbreaking” in an Instagram post on Wednesday. Sutton’s New York case, in which she claimed Marie “repeatedly raped” her and “trafficked” her to other men in Europe when she was working as a teenage model in Paris, was dismissed last year. She is appealing the decision, according to public records.

The Model Alliance said it would continue to campaign for better protections in the modeling industry.

“Even today, modeling agencies remain largely unregulated, perpetuating the systemic sexual assault and trafficking of young women and girls around the world,” the group said in its statement. “Our fight is not over”

Learn more:

Former models go public with allegations of assault by former Elite Model boss Gérald Marie

Several women spoke about their experiences after testifying to French investigators.

Leave a Comment