March 2, 2018 / 1:44 PM / 15 days ago

France poised to redraw child sex laws - minister

PARIS (Reuters) - France will change its age of consent laws so that sex before the age of 15 is automatically considered as rape, gender equality minister Marlene Schiappa says.

French Junior Minister in charge of Equality between men and women Marlene Schiappa leaves the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

While the age of consent is currently 15, prosecutors have to prove sex was non-consensual to obtain a rape conviction.

The reform, part of new legislation to help crackdown on sexual aggression, comes after a case where a man in his late 20s was acquitted of rape after having sex with an 11-year-old girl because there was no evidence she was coerced.

“The bill will contain a clause stating an age limit below which it will always be deemed that a child was forced,” the minister said, adding the age limit would be 15.

Schiappa was speaking in a web-based interview organised by the weekly magazine l’Obs about a bill that will be presented to parliament for approval once endorsed by the cabinet.

Reporting By Brian Love; Editing by Richard Lough

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