Outrage in France over Sexual Offenses

Montmagny

News about an 11-year-old girl and 28-year-old man having consensual sex made headlines last week in France. The events are reported to have taken place in Montmagny which is a Paris suburb. The events are said to have taken place on 24th April and were first reported by a French website known as Mediapart. The events occurred on an afternoon after the child decided to follow the man to his house. Apparently, the man had approached the girl twice in a couple of days with the man offering to teach the young girl how to kiss and even more. After they left for the man’s house, it was reported that they had oral sex in the hallway. Later on, the two went to the bedroom where they had sexual intercourse. The man asked the girl not to talk about the issue to anyone, but on her way home, the girl decided to call her mother in a state of panic. Her mother did not hesitate as she decided to press criminal charges citing rape. However, she was surprised when the public prosecutor cited Article 227-25 of the French criminal code for her. She learned that there was no evidence of surprise, threat, coercion or violence.

As a result, the man could only be charged for sexual infraction and not rape. This means that he could serve a sentence of five years rather than 20 which is the case for rape victims below the age of 15. While the trial was supposed to start on Tuesday, it has been postponed to February 2018. In the meantime, the story has caused outrage in France. For those that can remember, the story resembles the case for Jacqueline Sauvage. She was a French woman who was battered and shot her husband. She was sentenced 10 years in jail. This drew a lot of wrathful comments from the politicians and pundits who said that the judicial system had failed in providing protection to the vulnerable in the society. If you don’t get why people were outraged, a 10 years sentence in France is very harsh. While the French people could not come to terms with the actions of the public prosecutor, petitions had already started flowing in. They wanted the law to be changed to allow the actions of this man to be referred to as rape. In some European nations such as Belgium, sex with a minor below the age of 14 is considered as rape.

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