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Inquiry into ex-French minister accused of rape

French prosecutors have opened a judicial inquiry into alleged rape and sexual assault by a former minister and asked that he be charged.

Georges Tron, in custody for two days this week, resigned as junior minister for civil service after the allegations surfaced last month.

A judicial official said yesterday the prosecutor in Evry, outside Paris, opened an inquiry targeting Tron and his assistant.

53-year-old Tron has denied allegations by two former female colleagues that foot massages he administered evolved into sexual assaults.

The women said assault charges in New York against prominent French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn inspired them to speak out.