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France's Minimum Age Of Consent May Be Set To Just 13

France's Minimum Age Of Consent May Be Set To Just 13

A bill being prepared by the French government could see the minimum age for consent set to just 13.

Despite its age of consent, France currently does not have any law which defines sex with someone below a fixed age as statutory rape.

The news comes after two cases where men were acquitted of raping two 11 year old girls. In France the age of consent is 15, but prosecutors still have to prove sex was non-consensual to prove rape.

Currently in France if there is no violence or coercion proved, people may only be charged with sexual abuse of a minor and not rape - this has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of €75,000.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet told France's RTL radio network that 13 was a "limit that is worth considering" for the upcoming legislation, but tempered that statement saying that judges should also have the ability to assess whether someone was old enough to give consent on a case by case basis:

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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.

Speaking on BFM TV, Marlene Schiappa, a junior minister for gender equality, said Sunday that the cut-off could be between the ages of 13 and 15.

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," Ms Schiappa said on BFM TV.

Also Read: Katie Ascough: Abortion In Cases Of Rape Should Remain Illegal

Eoin Lyons

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