On Friday, police in France charged the well-known Swiss Muslim scholar and Oxford professor of Islamic studies Tariq Ramadan with rape, following claims by two women that he assaulted them in French hotel rooms, according to the Guardian.
Ramadan was initially arrested on Wednesday for allegations of rape and rape of a vulnerable person in 2009 and 2012. After two days of intense questioning by investigators, the 55-year-old professor was brought before three magistrates.
The decision to charge Ramadan was welcomed by the Jonas Haddad, the lawyer representing Henda Ayari, the first of the two women to accuse him.
"If there are other victims in France or elsewhere, they now know that the justice system will respond to what has happened to them," Haddad said, according to the Gulf Today.
The claims against Ramadan, a Swiss citizen whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the U.S.
So far, he has denied all charges and claims, stating he is the victim of a smear campaign. To date, Ramadan is the most high-profile figure to be held in France in connection with allegations of sexual assault and harassment which have emerged as part of the "Me Too" campaign.
Ms. Ayari, a feminist activist who previously practiced a conservative strain of Islam, described being raped in a book published in 2016, without naming her attacker.
However, in October, she said she had decided to name Ramadan publicly as the alleged perpetrator as a result of the "Me Too" campaign, using the French hashtag "Balance Ton Porc" (Expose your pig).
She claimed that Ramadan, a married father of four, raped her in his hotel room, telling Le Parisien newspaper: "He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die." Subsequently, she lodged a rape complaint against Ramadan on October 20.
Several days later an unidentified disabled woman, a Muslim convert, also accused the academic of raping her in a hotel room in the southeastern city of Lyon in 2009.
During three months of investigations since the allegations first emerged, police have interviewed dozens of people close to both Ramadan and the two women and examined email and social media exchanges between them.
In November, Oxford University said Ramadan was taking a leave of absence from his post as professor of contemporary Islamic studies, "by mutual agreement".
He has also denied allegations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls in the 1980s and 1990s published in the Swiss media, denouncing them as "a campaign of lies launched by my adversaries".
Despite his leave of absence from Oxford, Ramadan continues to head the Islamic Institute for Ethical Training in France. Ms. Ayari was placed under police protection in November after receiving death threats.