France to Set Age of Sexual Consent at 15 After Outcry Over Rape Acquittals

France’s government has proposed setting a formal age of sexual consent after two-high profile cases involving 11-year-old girls, according to the country’s Equality Minister.

Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said the “government has decided to set the age at 15,” after consultations with the public and an expert panel, according to French news agency AFP.

In France, current laws criminalize sex with children under the age of 15 but prosecutors must prove that the sexual act was forced.

Two cases involving the 11-year-old girls provoked outrage in France after the alleged perpetrators were acquitted of rape.

In November a 30-year-old man was cleared of rape after the court found that the victim had not been subjected to “constraint, threat, violence or surprise.”

In the other case, charges against a 28-year-old man, also accused of raping an 11-year-old girl, were downgraded to “sexual relations with a minor,” according to the AFP report.

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SOURCE: CNN, Euan McKirdy