The boss of the CNC will be tried for sexual assault on his godson



Renewed in July at the head of the National Cinema Center (CNC), Dominique Boutonnat sees the start of his second term being shaken up by justice and the middle of the 7th art. He will indeed be tried in correctional for accusations of sexual assault on his godson, with whom he has no family ties. The latter had filed a complaint in October 2020 for facts dating from August 2020 during a vacation in Greece. He was then 21 years old.

At the end of his police custody in February 2021, Dominique Boutonnat had been indicted for attempted rape and sexual assault. The prosecution had finally requested a trial for sexual assault, dismissing the qualification of attempted rape. The investigating judge followed his opinion in his decision rendered on Wednesday, September 28.

“A second father”

Dominique Boutonnat, 52, disputes these accusations at “fanciful and deceitful character”, in the words of his lawyer. He filed a complaint for denunciation of imaginary crime and slanderous denunciation.

During the investigation, he admitted “physical contact with his godson”but he disputed “both the extent and the sexual connotation”considers the judge, who underlines “the exercised ascendancy” by the godfather on his godchild, the latter receiving “like a second father”.

A psychological expertise of the godson also showed the “traumatic consequences” of this night of August 3, 2020 and did not reveal any “tendency to disguise reality”notes the judge.

“The presumption of innocence prevails”

Supporter of Emmanuel Macron and financier of the cinema after a career at AXA, Dominique Boutonnat had been renewed in July at the head of the CNC, despite a balance sheet disputed by certain filmmakers and his indictment in this file of sexual assault.

During an interview at Parisian in June, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul-Malak, campaigned for its renewal. “The presumption of innocence prevails”, she said, before defending her record: “The CNC has been very solid over the past three years, between the reform of the media chronology (which sets the broadcast windows for films after their theatrical release)the historical application of the Smad decree (which obliges the platforms to donate part of their turnover to the financing of French creation)… Dominique Boutonnatlargely participated in it and gave impetus to all of this. He is the boss of a CNC which has faced the crisis and which, moreover, has been a pioneer in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. »

The case “considerably weakens the CNC as an institution”

The world of the 7th art, which had already expressed its concern when it was appointed in 2019, does not see it with the same eye. “Yes, he did what was necessary to save the rooms, but he could not have done anything without Bercy”, considers a cinema professional, who adds that the legal file of Dominique Boutonnat “significantly weakens the CNC as an institution” : “Since the revelation of this affair, he has appeared very little in public. There is a decline in function because of the person. »

In a column published in The world, last May, a group of producers, directors and actors, including Saïd Ben Saïd, Carole Bouquet, Catherine Corsini and André Téchiné, worried about Dominique Boutonnat’s strategy for the CNC. They denounced a “audiovisualization” of the image sector, at the time of triumphant platforms, and “the risk of letting the industrial rule deal a fatal blow to the exception of art”.

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