Bill to set minimum age for sexual consent in French law

A recent bill being developed by the French government says that the minimum age for sexual consent should be 13 years for the first time. The minimum legal age has been set by the justice minister of the country who this is to be reasonable. Nicole Belloubet, the justice minister told RTL radio network of France in an interview that 13 years is the limit that should be considered.

She also added that judges do have the power to decide whether anyone is old enough to give the consents and that should be considered in individual situations. However, one of Ms. Belloubet colleague told that the bill does not have any mention of the age. Whereas, a gender equality’s junior minister, Marlene Schiappa, said on Sunday that according to her the age limit should be between 13 to 15. She added saying to BFM TV that there is no point to debate below a particular age and asked that below a particular age any child can be considered for rape or sexual assault.

Two cases have taken the debate to heights. French media reports a case last week where a 30-year man was put on trial for raping an 11-year girl. The incident took place in 2009. The jury of Seine-et-Marne, suburbs region of Paris, found that establishing a sexual relationship between the man and the girl will not be acclaimed as rape according to the Crime’s legal definition of France. Even the parents of the girl also found out when the girl became pregnant.

Next French media reported of office of prosecutors in Pontoise city acclaimed a sexual abuse against a 28-year man who had sex with an 11-year girl. This decision was taken according to the law of French and how it defines rape. However, the definition of rape in French law states that any sexual penetration done by violence or surprise will be acclaimed as rape. However, the definition varies with adults and minors. Even the penalty is also higher for victims are under 15 year. There is no sexual consent’s minimum age in the French law till date.

It says that whoever has a sexual act with a person below 15 years of violence or surprise will be categorized as sexual abuse but not rape. However, in both the recent cases the investigators found out that the sexual relationship does not involve in violence or surprise. Sexual abuse is punishable by five years of in prison whereas a rape convict will get 15 to 20 years of imprisonment if the victim age is below 15 years.