Prominent French sports pundit on trial on sex assault charge
A prominent French TV sports journalist went on trial Wednesday, accused of sexually assaulting three women.
Pierre Menes, a 59-year old former star football commentator and pundit for pay TV channel Canal Plus, denied any wrongdoing.
He will answer to allegations about an incident in November 2021 during a match at the Parc des Princes, the home venue for the Paris Saint-Germain football club, when a hostess told police that he had touched her breasts and abdomen.
In 2018, a woman working in a Paris Nike store said Menes had stroked her back and buttocks, while another, also a staffer at the Nike outlet, said he pressed his chest against her breasts while holding her hands and rubbing his genitals against her.
Menes left Canal Plus under a cloud in 2021 following the publication of a documentary about sexist behaviour in sports newsrooms, ending his 12-year career with the broadcaster.
Canal Plus launched an internal inquiry following the documentary which incriminated Menes, and helped spark a criminal investigation.
That investigation, probing allegations different from those in the trial that opened Wednesday, is now over. Prosecutors are yet to decide whether to take those cases to trial, or drop the charges.