March 6 (UPI) — The legal age of consensual sex in France could be set to 15, if a proposal by the French government becomes law.
French laws already criminalize sex with children under the age of 15, but only if the act is proven to be nonconsensual.
Paris Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said the changes are a response to two high-profile cases that resulted in acquittals for two men accused of sexually assaulting 11-year-old girls.
In November, a 30-year-old man was acquitted after the court found no evidence the girl was subjected to “constraint, threat, violence or surprise.”
The other case involves a 28-year-old man charged with sexual relations with a minor. The acquittal in that case, though, was reversed last month when the court decided the man should instead face rape charges in a higher court.
French President Emmanuel Macron supports the law to set the age of consent at 15, which would make all instances criminally punishable.
The measure will be presented to lawmakers March 21.