psychiatrist Roland Coutanceau targeted by new complaints

The council of the order of doctors of Hauts-de-Seine files a complaint against the famous psychiatrist, for breach of the Public Health Code. He must be the subject of a new conciliation, before this same body, with Sophie Patterson-Spatz, examined in the context of her complaint for rape against Gérald Darmanin.

By opening the mail, Marie* was “surprised” but felt “great satisfaction”. The complaint she filed against Roland Coutanceau, a renowned expert psychiatrist, specialist in domestic and family violence for thirty years, “has been taken into account”, writes the council of the order of doctors of Hauts-de-Seine, in a letter sent on October 24, which franceinfo was able to consult. But above all, the authority adds that it itself is filing a complaint against the psychiatrist, for breach of the Public Health Code. According to this legal code, each doctor must practice “its mission in respecting human life, the person and their dignity”as well as in compliance with “principles of morality, probity and dedication essential to the practice of medicine”.

However, as Franceinfo revealed in an investigation in mid-September, Marie considers that Roland Coutanceau failed in this duty, during an assessment of his daughters. It was carried out in 2019, as part of the investigation into their father, suspected of incestuous violence and indicted for “manufacturing and disseminating a pornographic message accessible to a minor”. Marie criticizes the doctor for having “insult” his daughters, treating them like “boring, annoying, pests”and not having “commented” the photos in which they appear naked, in suggestive poses. The mother was able to present her grievances during a conciliation hearing on September 20 before the departmental council of the order of doctors. “I take note of the position of the council of the orderreacts Roland Coutanceau to franceinfo. In this case, I will make a critical and self-critical analysis of the reasons why the expertise did not go well.”

“A very important step”

For Marie’s daughters, the order council’s complaint against Roland Coutanceau constitutes “a repair”. It’s a “strong signal”according to her : “It means that an authority decides that it is serious, that he must be held accountable.” His lawyer Fabien Arakelian also welcomes“a first victory, a very important stage”.

“His peers have become aware of the seriousness of the acts committed by this expert. This shows that we are not in fantasy.”

Fabien Arakelian, lawyer

at franceinfo

Marie’s lawyer hopes for a sanction against the psychiatrist. If this is the case, it will not intervene before twelve to eighteen months, during a hearing before the disciplinary chamber, at the end of which the practitioner can be convicted or acquitted. “The council of the order of doctors is not an arbiter of expertise. Only the disciplinary chamber, which includes a magistrate, can decide to take a sanction or not”, underlines Roland Coutanceau. Who adds: “Beyond me, other experts are under attack.”

Complaints closed, others in progress

A new conciliation hearing will take place before the council of the order in the absence of the expert psychiatrist, Monday November 13, following a fourth complaint for “shortcomings” and “ethical misconduct”. It was submitted at the beginning of October by Sophie Patterson-Spatz. Roland Coutanceau assessed this 51-year-old woman in March 2021, as part of the investigations carried out following her complaint of rape against Gérald Darmanin. She accuses the current Minister of the Interior of having forced her to have sex in return for her help in revising a conviction, in 2009, while he was a mission manager in the legal affairs department of the UMP . The procedure, begun in 2017, resulted in a dismissal of the case, confirmed on appeal. But Sophie Patterson-Spatz appealed to the Court of Cassation. The decision is still awaited.

In the expertise of this woman, which Franceinfo was able to consult, Roland Coutanceau offers “three scenarios”. None supports the rape theory. They favor a “turnaround” by Sophie Patterson-Spatz, failing to obtain what was “hoped”without the“we can detect harassment or marked manipulation on the part of Gérald Darmanin”. The psychiatrist suggests a “psychic conflict” at the complainant’s, “leading him to accept a form of exchange” then one “rereading” facts a posteriori. “We cannot write that I remade the story in my head since I had reported the facts in 2009 to the UMP, the person concerned jumped up. I wasn’t able to put down the word ‘rape’ at first. But there is one thing I am sure of, and that is that I did not consent.”

However, according to his lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, the dismissal order issued in July 2022 in this case “relies heavily on the theories of Roland Coutanceau”. The criminal lawyer deplores that the psychiatrist “did not ask any questions about psychosexual, emotional and gynecological health” of his client. According to Sophie Patterson-Spatz, the meeting lasted according to her “less than two hours”. She claims that Roland Coutanceau “was disloyal from the start and did not conduct his expertise with neutrality and objectivity”.

“I felt bad when I left this expertise, damaged.”

Sophie Patterson-Spatz

at franceinfo

According to information from franceinfo, the expert psychiatrist is facing a fifth complaint before the same council of the departmental order, still in the context of a case of incestuous violence. The conciliation hearing was held in mid-October and the council has not yet made its decision.

“Having not observed any serious ethical misconduct” of Doctor Coutanceau, the body closed this summer on the complaints of two other women, Anna and Pauline*, who believe that the psychiatrist’s assessments led to their children being put in danger. Their appeals before the national council of the order of doctors, as well as before the administrative court, are currently being examined.

The two women also filed complaints with the Paris prosecutor’s office against Roland Coutanceau. Anna for “endangering a minor”, ​​Pauline for “endangering others”. The first was dismissed on the grounds that the offense “was insufficiently characterized” And “prescribed”. The second was transmitted to the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office, because the psychiatrist practices in Hauts-de-Seine. For her part, Marie waits “the following” and continue the process “also for other mothers”. The forty-year-old insists: “It’s important that experts know that they cannot act with impunity.”

*First names have been changed.

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