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France: Child sex laws for review after controversial cases

France is to consider a change to its laws around sexual consent, according to the minister for gender equality. 

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Marlene Schiappa said the government was considering setting a fixed age below which sex was automatically a serious offence.

It comes after two cases where men were acquitted of raping two 11 year old girls.

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In France the age of consent is 15, but prosecutors still have to prove sex was non-consensual to prove rape. 

Despite its age of consent, France currently does not have any law which defines sex with someone below a fixed age as 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 (£66,000; $87,000). 

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