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PARIS — A rape accusation against France’s budget minister is roiling the government of President Emmanuel Macron, threatening to claim another casualty in an upheaval over sexual assault allegations.

The minister, Gérald Darmanin, stands accused in an incident dating to 2009.

As prosecutors reopened a probe into the conduct of the 35-year-old minister — who denies any wrongdoing — his political opponents called for his resignation. But in a society still in the throes of a bitter debate over sexual assault, Darmanin’s French government colleagues are standing by him — for now — while insisting on due process and the presumption of innocence at a time when both concepts have fallen under intense public scrutiny.

“The Prime Minister wishes to assure on the one hand that the rules determining membership in the government are known, and on the other hand that Mr. Darmanin has his full confidence,” the office of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said in an emailed statement.

But France’s mainstream center-right Republican party seized the opportunity to demand Monday that Darmanin step down. Some see in that intervention a hint of political revenge: Darmanin is a former member of the party who was expelled last year for having defected to the centrist coalition of President Emmanuel Macron.

“We respect the presumption of innocence,” a Republican party spokeswoman said in a statement. “But given the serious charges that have been raised, and for the serenity of public action, we think he has no choice but to resign.”

Beyond politics, particular charges have elicited a tremendous public outcry.

For the second time, the same woman, 46-year-old Sophie Spatz — a former call girl whose birth name is Olga Patterson, according to French media — has accused Darmanin of forcing her to have sex with him in 2009 in exchange for his intervention in a personal legal matter.

Spatz first filed a complaint against Darmanin last year, after he entered Macron’s government, but the case was closed when she failed to attend a mandatory police interview. Earlier this month, however, she filed a second complaint, and prosecutors have now reopened the case.

In 2004, Spatz was given a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison and ordered to pay 15,000 euros (about $18,600 at the time) in damages for blackmail, among other crimes. According to Le Monde, her side of the story was that she harassed her then-partner to get back money that he had stolen from her. As a conservative voter, Spatz then sought her party’s assistance in fighting that judgment in 2009. The party, the predecessor of today’s Republicans, assigned Darmanin, then 26 and a low-level party official, to assist her.

In an interview with Le Monde, Spatz alleged that Darmanin — after hearing the details of her case — suggestively placed his hand on hers. “You will have to help me as well,” she quoted him as saying. She told him she should go home to her husband, but Darmanin pressed her to accompany him to a well-known Parisian sex club called Les Chandelles so he would not to have to go by himself, Spatz told Le Monde.

“To seduce, to be seduced, to be desiring, to be desired are the fundamentals of Les Chandelles,” its website reads.

The two then ended up at a cheap nearby hotel, by her account. Spatz sent Darmanin out to buy shower gel and toothpaste, then hid in the bathroom “to postpone the fateful moment to the maximum,” according to a statement one of her lawyers gave to Le Monde. “Nevertheless, realizing that the act was still ‘on the program,'” the statement said, “she had to end up bowing to it, despite all these stall tactics.”

As the pressure has mounted for his resignation, Darmanin’s colleagues — and notably his female colleagues — have stood by him.

Speaking on French radio Monday morning, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said Darmanin “can stay in the government” for the time being, insofar as no formal charges are brought. Likewise, Marlène Schiappa, France’s gender equality minister and one of the staunchest crusaders against sexual assault in the current debate, had little to say besides observing that “it is important for the judiciary to be able to work calmly.”

Throughout the furor over sexual assault that has consumed French public discourse for months — a national conversation that has drawn a diverse, and sometimes inflammatory, array of interventions from actresses and writers such as Catherine Deneuve, Leïla Slimani and Brigitte Bardot — Schiappa has been among the most outspoken. She has even advocated fines for men who catcall in the street.

On a political level, the renewed allegations against Darmanin appear likely to add to a recent spate of embarrassments for Macron’s centrist government. If the budget minister is forced to resign, he will not be the first: In an administration that has been in power for less than a year, four other prominent members have stepped down over charges relating to political corruption.

Furthermore, France’s culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, was forced over the weekend to withdraw the entire press run of a series of commemorative books that included Charles Maurras, an infamous French anti-Semite. Before backing down on Sunday morning in the midst of intense fallout, Nyssen first attempted to defend honoring Maurras.

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