Four policemen with France's elite special unit have been arrested over the alleged rape of a Canadian tourist in Paris.
The four were held for questioning, after a 34-year-old claimed she was sexually abused inside the iconic building hosting police headquarters in the heart of the French capital.
The Toronto woman said she was befriended by officers with the so-called elite "anti-Gang Brigade" (BRI), as she was having a night time drink at a pub in the lively Latin Quarter, south of the river Seine.
Upon learning she was the daughter of a Canadian security officer, the policemen offered her a visit to their headquarters in 36 Quai des Orfèvres, an address often featured in thriller movies and crime novels.
The woman, who was on a two-week holiday trip to France, said she accepted.
Sources close to the investigation said a young woman was seen entering the building in a "perky and joyful" mood, Le Monde newspaper reported.
Hours later, orderlies standing guard outside saw a "shocked and staggered" woman coming out of the building in tears, the source said.
She was reportedly intercepted wandering around the area by traffic officials who took her to another police station where she reported the rape.
"She was in a state of hysteria," another source told Le Parisien newspaper. "She managed to explain that she had been raped."
The four policemen deny the accusation.
France's interior minister, to whom the BRI respond, said that the crime would not go unpunished if proved.
"If facts are established, I'll adopt all the necessary sanctions," Bernard Cazeneuve said.