Sex crimes on minors: Dupond-Moretti promises a “consultation”

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Eric Dupond-Moretti photographed on January 11 at the court of cassation (illustration)

INCEST – The government’s position is now known. While the Senate began this Thursday, January 21 the examination of a bill to create a new sexual crime to protect minors under 13, the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti immediately called ” not to give in to haste ”.

Two and a half years after the entry into force of the Schiappa law against sexual and gender-based violence, the issue is in the spotlight after the revelation of the Olivier Duhamel case, accused by his stepdaughter Camille Kouchner of ‘raping her twin brother when they were teenagers in the 80s.

For the author of the bill, Annick Billon, centrist president of the delegation for women’s rights, it is a question of laying down in the law “a new prohibition: that of any sexual relation with a minor of 13 years”, without questioning the question of consent.

The new offense would be constituted in the event of sexual penetration, of whatever nature, as soon as the perpetrator knew or could not ignore the age of the victim. “This text was not developed in reaction to the political and media explosion caused by Camille Kouchner’s book The Big Family, but this book echoes the bill and offers the legislator the opportunity to take a clear position ”, underlined the senator.

“Determination, but prudence”

The voluntarism of the senators was however showered by the intervention of the Minister of Justice. Eric Dupond-Moretti certainly welcomed “an important contribution to the democratic debate that we must have on this subject”, but stressed that any modification of the penal law “must be considered with determination but caution”.

“It must be accompanied by a successful reflection, in particular in terms of prescription without giving in to the haste that a legitimate emotion calls for”, he declared. The Minister announced “a consultation work” of associations “which participate on a daily basis in the liberation of speech and in the care and defense of victims”. He will be engaged “from next week” with the Secretary of State for Children and Families Adrien Taquet.

This is not a “delaying” maneuver, assured Eric Dupond-Moretti, in front of the circumspection of the senators. According to the minister, “important questions remain unanswered”, in particular that of the age threshold, which the text proposes to 13 years, where the law of 2018 retained the threshold of 15 years.

The bill certainly provides for strengthening the protection of young people from 13 to 15 years old, but the age threshold at 13 years for the establishment of non-consent is considered insufficient by the associations for the protection of children who are pushing for this. that this limit be set at 15 years. Age is also debated among senators.

Prescription under debate

The question of prescription is another delicate point. The text aligns the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against minors of 13 years with that of rape, that is to say 30 years from the majority of the victim. Senator Billon proposes to extend it to 40 years. To fight against “omerta”, the senators will also examine an amendment by rapporteur Marie Mercier (LR) which extends the limitation period for the offense of not denouncing ill-treatment, assault or sexual abuse inflicted on a minor.

From six years today, this period would be increased to ten years, counting from the majority of the victim, in the event of a misdemeanor and to 20 years in the event of a crime. In the wake of the Duhamel affair and the hashtag #Metooinceste, the upper house will not escape a debate on incest.

The Laws Committee ruled on Wednesday in favor of an amendment by Senator PS Marie-Pierre de La Gontrie aimed at strengthening the sanction incurred for incestuous sexual assault on a minor, which would be punished by “10 years and 150,000 euros d ‘fine”. Christophe Castaner, president of the LREM group in the National Assembly, estimated Tuesday that it will be necessary “if necessary to give the criminal qualification to this crime”. Sunday, it is the first lady, Brigitte Macron who called for a judicial reform to fight against incest.

See also on The HuffPost: “The seal of infamy”: Geneviève Garrigos recounts the violence that incest leaves behind


Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.

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