In Summary
  • In November, a 30-year-old man was acquitted of the rape of an 11-year-old girl after the court determined she had not been subjected to "constraint, threat, violence or surprise".

  • In another case involving an 11-year-old girl, a 28-year-old man had faced charges of sexual relations with a minor, rather than rape — a decision that enraged the girl's family.

PARIS,

France plans to make 15 the age of sexual consent after a public outcry over two cases of sex involving 11-year-old girls, Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said Monday.

After public consultations and the recommendation of a panel of experts, "the government has decided to set the age at 15," Schiappa told AFP.

RAPE CHARGES

The issue was brought to the fore after critics and lawmakers said French laws had allowed two men to escape rape charges when they were accused of sex with underage girls.

Any sexual act by an adult with a child younger than 15 can be prosecuted as a sexual offence under current French law.

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