AGGRESSION – Put a new ban. The Senate unanimously adopted this Thursday, January 21, at first reading, a bill to create a new sexual crime to protect minors under 13, while the government announced consultations with associations.
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, but this book (…) offers the legislator the opportunity to take a clear position”, underlined Ms. Billon (UDI).
The senator urged, like several of her colleagues, the government to take up this text and quickly put it on the agenda of the National Assembly.
Socialist Marie-Pierre de La Gontrie has already announced that the PS deputies were ready to register it in their reserved parliamentary space.
Eric Dupond-Moretti hailed “an important contribution to the democratic debate that we must have on this subject”, but underlined that any modification of the criminal law “must be considered with determination but caution” and “without giving in to the haste that calls for a legitimate emotion ”.
Fight against “omerta”
The minister announced “a consultation work” of associations “which participate on a daily basis in the liberation of speech, 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, but “important questions remain”, including that of the age threshold.
The bill also 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 it be increased to 15 years.
The question of prescription is another delicate point. The text aligns the limitation period with that of rape, ie 30 years from the date of the victim’s majority. The Senate opposed the amendments aimed at making them imprescriptible or even extending this period.
To fight against “the omerta”, highlighted by the Duhamel affair, the senators on the other hand adopted an amendment by the rapporteur Marie Mercier (LR) which lengthens the limitation period for the offense of not denouncing crimes committed on a minor.
From six years today, it would be increased to ten years, counting from the majority of the victim, in the event of an offense and to 20 years in the event of a crime.
“The main adversary of the victims is on the one hand the silence of those who know, and the blindness of those who might know”, said Laurence Rossignol (PS)
In the wake of the Duhamel affair and the hashtag #Metooinceste, the Senate has not escaped a debate on incest.
The Senate rejected an amendment by Marie-Pierre de La Gontrie aiming, in the event of incest, to set at 18 the age threshold for the new crime provided for by the bill.
On the other hand, he spoke in favor of strengthening the sanction incurred for incestuous sexual assault on a minor.
Other texts are also in preparation at the National Assembly, including one by LREM deputy Alexandra Louis who recently estimated in an evaluation report of the Schiappa law that the current legislation does not “mark a strong enough ban”.
See also on The HuffPost: Incest: Geneviève Garrigos militates on an age threshold for consent
Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.
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