Six French women, along with journalists who published their accounts, face a defamation claim by a former French lawmaker they accused of sexual misconduct.
The trial that opened Monday in Paris was prompted by Denis Baupin, a former prominent Green Party politician and Paris city official.
In May 2016, Mediapart website and France Inter radio published accounts from 14 women who alleged he had groped, sexted and otherwise harassed them. The statute of limitations had expired on the alleged facts.
Baupin denied wrongdoing and sued the women named in the reports.
His lawyer Emmanuel Pierrat said Baupin expects that his “innocence” will be “totally proved.”
One defendant, Elen Debost, said it’s “a disgrace” to be “sitting on the bench of the accused when this man hasn’t even been judged.”
READ MORE: Women strike on International Women’s Day
The Associated Press