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Two French police officers sentenced to seven years in prison for rape of Canadian tourist

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Two French police officers sentenced to seven years in prison for rape of Canadian tourist
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REUTERS
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Two former French police officers have both been sentenced to seven years in prison for the rape of a Canadian tourist at the historic former headquarters of the Paris police.

Antoine Quirin and Nicolas Redouane were sentenced on Thursday by the Paris Court of Assizes for the rape of a Canadian tourist within the premises of the Paris judicial police in April 2014.

The men denied raping 39-year-old Emily Spanton - who waived her right to anonymity and gave interviews before the trial - in 2014, and claim the alleged victim consented to sexual interactions during a booze-fuelled evening.

The crime took place at the 36 Quai des Orfevres police headquarters made famous by the Maigret detective novels by Belgian author Georges Simenon.

Both were members of the Brigade de Recherche et d’Intervention (BRI) force that specialises in serious criminal cases such as armed robbery.

Spanton said she met a group of officers in an Irish pub in April 2014 and they invited her for a night tour of police headquarters. There, she claimed she was forced to drink whisky, perform oral sex and was raped several times.

The court was "convinced" by "consistent statements from the victim" and by "scientific and technical elements", including DNA expertise and telephone analyses, said Assize Court President Stéphane Duchemin.

"On the evening of April 22, 2014, the accused were not policemen, but usurpers unworthy of their badges, acting in the same way as those they pursue. That evening they went over to the bad side," Philippe Courroye, prosecuting attorney, told the court.

According to Courroye, the story told by the policemen contained "clear elements of a cover-up and obvious inconsistencies."

The case, which gripped French media, was heard for the past two weeks in a courthouse next to the former police headquarters.