French MEP pleads guilty to masturbating in DIY store, avoids prosecution

Robert Rochefort, European MP of French MoDem centrist party ©
Remy Gabalda
French MEP Robert Rochefort has pleaded guilty to sexual exhibition after being caught masturbating in a DIY store in the proximity of children last August.

The MoDem party politician, who represents the south west region in the European Parliament, somehow avoided prosecution and a public trial, according to 20minutes.

Rochefort took to Twitter Wednesday to say that there was good news and no further action would be taken. He also thanked all those who had supported him.

The details of his penalty were not specified but it may include a fine, according to Le Monde

The incident happened on August 31 in a hardware store in Velizy, a town near Paris and was brought to police attention who then arrested the politician.

It was reported in French media that Rochefort admitted to exposing himself but defended his actions by saying he needed  to masturbate "when under stress".

Later however the politician issued a statement denying the accusations and said he only made the comment to avoid spending a night in custody, according to French media reports.

He also insisted that "these events occurred in a context where I was struck violently thrown to the ground by someone not part of the establishment."

Rochefort  lost his position as the vice president of the liberal MoDem party due to the scandal.