Top French court drops rape case against filmmaker Luc Besson

On Wednesday, France’s highest appeals court denied a request to revive a rape accusation against film director Luc Besson, putting an end to one of the most high-profile cases to come from the country’s MeToo campaign against sexual assault.

Sand Van Roy, a Dutch-Belgian actress, accused Luc Besson, director of ‘The Fifth Element’ and ‘Leon,’ of raping her during a two-year on-again romance and filed a complaint against him in May 2018.

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Prosecutors abandoned the case in February 2019 due to a lack of evidence, and although Van Roy filed new charges, an appeals court shelved the case in May of last year.

In a judgement obtained by AFP, the Cour de Cassation, the criminal court of last resort, stated that there was “no reason to justify pursuing an appeal” of the earlier rulings.

“The Cour de Cassation has decided not to hear my appeal, which means once again the French judiciary refuses to examine the evidence in this case,” Van Roy said on Twitter.

“I will pursue these cases and will file a request with the European Court of Human Rights,” she said.

Besson’s lawyer, who has rejected the allegations, said the judgment “ends all the procedures that have found him not guilty over the last five years.”

Besson has admitted to dating Van Roy, who appeared in his films ‘Taxi 5’ and ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’.

She submitted the original rape complaint in May 2018, only hours after meeting Besson, before filing another two months later for more claimed rapes and sexual assaults.

At least three more women have accused Besson of sexual harassment, which he has denied.

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