France to set age of sexual consent after rape outcry

Iran rejects visiting French FM's calls to curb missiles                         Read more

Iran rejects visiting French FM's calls to curb missiles Read more

Equality Minister Marlène Schiappa told reporters that "the government has chose to set the age at 15", after widespread criticism broke out against the laws that allowed two men to escape rape charges following sexual misconduct with underage girls.

In the other case, charges against a 28-year-old man, also accused of raping an 11-year-old girl, were downgraded to "sexual relations with a minor", according to the AFP report.

The French government is proposing a law that would say anyone under 15 can not consent to sex, after widespread shock at two cases involving 11-year-old girls. Current legislation criminalises sex with a child under the age of 15-years-old, but with the caveat that prosecutors must also prove that the sexual act was forced. However, this will change alongside the bill that is being proposed.

The new law would create a threshold, said Schiappa, according to which any sexual activity with a child under the age of 15 will be criminalized and it would be considered the child was coerced. Shiappa and French president Emanuel Macron had been considering the change since October 2017.


Lawmakers are hoping that this proposal will be given the go-ahead in the French legal system, and help decrease sexual violence throughout the country. "Below which it's always considered as a rape", she said in an interview.

The reform follows two cases of rape, one in November last year, when a 30-year-old man was acquitted of rape of an 11-year-old girl after the court determined there was no evidence she was subjected to "constraint, threat, violence or surprise". In addressing rape culture, she told CNN, "We want to fix an age in the law below which it's always forbidden to have sex with children, with young girls".

France now has no age of consent. The court subsequently did issue a charge of rape last month, with the trial pending as they ask it to move to a higher court.

The French government on Tuesday announced plans for a new law that would prevent someone under the age of 15 consenting to sex.

Latest News