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Digital Journal Friday October 13, 2017
France could set 13 as minimum legal age for sexual consent
The French government is said to be mulling the introduction of a bill that could set a minimum legal age for sexual consent for the first time. According to the country's justice minister, 13-years-old could be a reasonable age. In a statement, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said that age 13 was a "limit that is worth considering" for the upcoming legislation. Belloubet, however, noted that judges should also have the ability to assess whether someone was old enough to give consent in individual situations. She said, “The question of the age below which the minor's consent is presumed not to exist is crucial because there are obviously extremely shocking and unacceptable situations.” Another French government official however clarified that a minimum age for sexual consent had not been set for the bill. Marlene Schiappa, a junior minister for gender equality, said that the cutoff could be between the ages of 13 and 15. Schiappa added, "Below a certain age, it is considered that there can be no debate on the sexual consent of a child and that any child below a certain age would automatically be considered to be raped or sexually assaulted.” The debate over who is old enough to consent to sex under French law escalated after two recent court cases. Last week, a jury acquitted a 30-year-old man who was accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in 2009. According to French media reports, the jury in the Paris suburb region of Seine-et-Marne found that while there had been a sexual relationship between the girl and the man, it did not constitute rape according to...Read more