France To Change Age Of Consent To 15 Following Rape Uproar

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In another case, a court initially said a 28-year-old man should face charges of sexual assault, and not rape, after saying the victim was "not physically forced to have sex".

It would be a first for France, which does not now have an age of consent.

French officials will create a legal age of consent, changing the country's law to classify sex with someone younger than 15 as rape, regardless of whether physical force is used.

France is moving to make 15 the legal age of sexual consent following two very public cases involving the rape of 11-year-old girls, according to the Agence France-Presse.

Under existing laws, if violence and force can't be proven, offenders may only be charged with sexual abuse of a minor and not with rape.

The government's women's affairs office said Tuesday that it has made a decision to set the threshold at 15 in a bill to be presented to parliament later this month.

In October 2017, she told CNN that she wanted to address rape culture.

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Once implemented it will criminalize any sexual conduct with any minor under that age.

It had been discussing whether to set the age as 13 or 15, which is what groups fighting violence against children had campaigned for.

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". President Emmanuel Macron met his future wife, Brigitte, when he was around 14 and she was 38 and a teacher at his school.

The law, once implemented, will set the age at which a person can not agree to any sexual intercourse at 15 and will criminalize any sexual activity with any minor younger than that age, had passed after public consultation and expert recommendation.

Macron pledged to push for an age of sexual consent in December, saying, "Our criminal law contains intolerable ambiguities. our entire society is sick with sexism".

"But last month the court reversed course and said the [28-year-old] man should indeed face rape charges, though it asked for the trial to be moved to a higher court".

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