Thursday, September 28, 2017

28-Year-Old, French Man Had Sex With An 11-Year-Old But Under French Law, It's Not Necessarily Rape

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28-Year-Old, French Man Had Sex With An 11-Year-Old But Under French Law, It's Not Necessarily Rape

28-Year-Old, French Man Had Sex With An 11-Year-Old But Under French Law, It's Not Necessarily Rape


He told her that he would "teach her how to kiss."

That's how a 28-year-old man tempts an 11-year-old girl back to his accommodation where they met in April. He had tried to lure the girl twice before. This time, she followed him back to his apartment in a Paris suburb. Once inside, the pair had sex in a stairwell.



Afterward, the 11-year-old girl told her parents, who went to the police. The man, they said, had raped their daughter.

But this week, French prosecutors diminish to charge the man with that crime. They had no proof; they said that the man had been violent, rough or that he'd force the girl or threatened her. And under French law, that means the girl had "consented" to sex.

Instead, the man has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. He will go on trial in February.

28-Year-Old, French Man Had Sex With An 11-Year-Old But Under French Law, It's Not Necessarily Rape

The girl's attorney, Carine Diebolt, denounced the prosecutors' decision. The defendant was aggressive with the girl, Diebolt said. He threatened to ruin her reputation if she told anyone. The lawyer argued, too, that a child can never meaningfully consent to sex with an adult, no matter what. "We should not even have this debate when it comes to a child," Diebolt said. "There is a difference between curiosity and consent to a sexual act with a 28-year-old guy in a staircase."

The girl's mother also very sad and criticized the law, saying her daughter had been "paralyzed" by fear at the time and, therefore, been "unable to defend herself."


"She thought it was too late, that she didn't have the right to protest, that it wouldn't make any difference, so she went into autopilot, without emotion, and without reaction," the mother told Mediapart, an online news site.

The attorney for the accused argued, however, that his client thought he had "explicit consent." He also said that the man didn't know how old the girl was. The lawyer also said that the girl had sent naked photos of herself to strangers, describing her as "fearless."

Children's rights groups, outraged by the case, have urged lawmakers to rewrite the laws. "The question of consent or its absence should never arise for minor rape victims," the Voice of the Child organization said. France's High Council for Equality between Women and Men has called for a statutory threshold.

According to French law, a sexual act can qualify as rape only if there is violence, force or a threat of an act. Sex with a minor does not automatically qualify as rape in France like it does in other countries. Instead, sex with someone under the age of consent constitutes a sexual offense punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $88,000. In Britain, Germany, and Spain, there is an "irrefutable presumption of an absence of consent" in all sex acts against those younger than 16.


And there's a good reason for that. As experts explain, child rape victims often switch off during the act itself as a coping mechanism. "Submitting is not consenting," one expert told Le Figaro.