France investigates alleged rape of soldier at presidential palace in Paris

French authorities have opened an investigation into the an alleged rape at the presidential palace in Paris.

Local media report a female soldier, has said she was sexually assaulted after a drinks reception at the Élysée palace in July.

President Emmanuel Macron had earlier attended the event, held for departing staff.

The accused, also a soldier has been questioned, but has not yet been formally charged, reports say.

Both the alleged victim and accused attacker reportedly worked at a high-security staff office in the building, and Libération said they knew each other.

A presidential official told the AFP news agency that “as soon as the authorities were aware of these claims, measures were immediately taken” to support the alleged victim.

Both she and the accused have been moved to other duties, the palace has said.

In recent years, a number of sexual assault scandals have rocked French society.

Mr Macron has vowed to tackle the problem of violence against women, and his government introduced a new law setting the age of consent at 15 in response to the scandals this March.

He is expected to stand for a second term as president in elections scheduled for April 2022, although he has yet to declare his candidacy.