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French court acquits a pedophile after he admitted he had sex with an 11 year old.

March 7, 2018

A French court have acquited a pedophile who had sex with a child of any wrongdoings becasue it concluded that "there was no rape involved".

Despite promises to reassess child sex laws, the rules governing consent in France are still murky.

Can an 11-year-old consent to sex with an adult? Legally in France, the answer is not automatically "No", and at least in one case, it's a "Oui".

In november 2017, a jury in Meaux, east of the French capital, acquitted a pedophile who had been accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in 2009, when he was 22.

The jury said that the prosecution had not convincingly established any of the legal elements required for a rape verdict. The pedophile was set free and aquited of any wrongdoing.

 

In a similar case, a 28-year-old man was charged with just with having sex with a minor, and not with rape, because it was concluded that the victim was not physically forced to have sex. That girl also was 11.

 

A French woman holds a placard reading, “In France, rapists and pedophiles are protected by law,” during a protest on Nov. 14 2017 in Paris .


However, in the second case, and after a huge public backlash, the trial court asked that a new trial be held in a higher court, setting off the public debate in France.

Last month the court reversed course and said the man should indeed face rape charges, though it asked for the trial to be moved to a higher court, declaring itself incompetent to rule in the highly controversial case.

Until now, sex with children under 15 could be prosecuted as a sexual offense, but rape charges could be difficult to prove in such cases because French law required evidence that the sex was forced.

Since then lawmakers and child-protection groups have been urging the government to set a minimum age of consent, as is the case in many European countries, with suggested ages ranging from 13 to 15.

The anticipated bill is a broad-based measure aimed at “fighting sexual and sexist violence” and is likely to be presented to the French Cabinet next month. The minimum age of consent is expected to be between 13 and 15.

 

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