France to set the legal age for sexual consent at 15

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

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

Two men in two separate cases were acquitted of rape charges after French courts ruled that the 11-year-old girls the men, ages 30 and 28, allegedly had sex with were not physically forced to have sex.

It would be the first law of its kind in France, where there is now no law that states a child below a certain age is considered incapable of consenting to sex. Prosecutors must have to prove that the sexual encounter was forced before it can bring rape charges against the offenders as rape conviction carries a much harsher punishments.

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.

Paris: France plans to set the legal age of sexual consent as 15 after two-high profile cases involving 11-year-old girls, according to the country's Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa.

Setting a legal age of sexual consent is one measure among a batch of new legislation regarding sexual violence, BBC News reported.

A debate over the age of sexual consent has been ongoing for several months now, with some suggesting it be lowered to 13.

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

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

Schiappa said she was "very glad" the country's government had chosen the age as 15, as recommended by a panel of doctors and legal experts - an age that has been long sought by associations fighting violence against children.

"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".

Schiappa told reporters she was "very glad" that the government chose to formalize the age of consent, a move that she hopes will combat the prevalence of rape culture in France. President Emmanuel Macron, among others, argued for it to be older.

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