PARIS, FRANCE - The lawyer for a woman who filed a rape complaint in Paris against Chris Brown says the American singer-songwriter “has thumbed his nose at and shown disrespect for the French legal system” after he did not attend a formal meeting with the alleged victim on Tuesday.
Brown was arrested in January then released from custody without charge pending further investigation of the woman's allegations that he and two other men raped her at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris. The Grammy winner called the accusation false.
“His failure to appear today is very unfair to my client, but I assure him that my client will not be deterred from seeking justice,” said American lawyer Gloria Allred, who traveled to Paris judicial police's headquarters to assist her client at the meeting, which in France is called a confrontation.
The woman's French lawyer, Jean-Marc Descoubes, said Brown was not legally obliged to attend the meeting. The two other suspects, both American, did not attend the meeting either, Descoubes said, adding he expects another date to be set.
“If he doesn't show up a second time we will have to either ask for the preliminary investigation to be closed (to allow for an investigative judge take over the procedure) because we just can't keep going like this. Or we will ask the prosecutor to put in place more coercive measures, a warrant to get him to come because the confrontation requested by our client is key to this case - a sexual abuse case,” he said.
Brown's French lawyer, Raphael Chiche, did not immediately answer an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.
French police detained Brown and the two others in January on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions. The Paris prosecutor's office said at the time the investigation hasn't been closed, but Brown was free to leave the country while it continued.
Allred said Brown “has betrayed the trust of the criminal justice authorities who allowed him to leave France expecting that he would honor his promise to attend the confrontation.”
The AP does not typically identify people alleging sexual assault unless they agree to be named or come forward publicly. Descoubes told the AP his client does not want to be identified.
Brown burst onto the music scene as a teenager and won a Grammy Award in 2011 for best R&B album for “F.A.M.E.” He has had continued legal troubles since he pleaded guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.