A homeless man has been charged with rape after an American woman was attacked in a public toilet in a busy riverside area of Paris.
The 27-year-old woman was with her partner by the River Seine in the heart of the city’s tourist district on Saturday night when she stopped to visit a public toilet.
The toilet, considered safe and well maintained, is located near the Louis-Philippe bridge, near both Notre Dame and Hotel de Ville.
The woman entered the public restroom at about 1am, but her partner who was waiting for her, grew concerned after she took a long time, according to local paper Le Parisien.
When he approached the toilet he heard crying and screaming and found his partner being attacked.
An investigating source said the public toilet is “well lit” and there were “plenty of people around”.
“But the woman’s partner became concerned when she remained inside for a long time,” an investigator said, according to the Daily Mail.
The US tourist was able to escape, while her partner and another woman present reportedly trapped the alleged rapist in a cubicle until police arrived and arrested him.
The 23-year-old man, who is originally from North Africa and lives in Asnières-sur-Seine, outside Paris, was charged with rape.
He initially denied the charge, telling police the woman had consented but was remanded in custody, according to the publication.
The woman was taken to the Pitie-Salpetrière hospital in eastern Paris, where she was treated for injuries.
She and her partner have since headed back home to the US after giving evidence.
The woman is keeping in touch with French police and prosecutors over the investigation.
The riverside promenade where the attack happened is a bustling area often packed with tourists and Parisians out for a drink in the evening or picnicking by the river.
There are frequent complaints about lawlessness, however, and especially about aggressive youths threatening passers-by, according to the Daily Mail.