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Marlene Schiappa, a junior minister for gender equality, said Sunday that the cutoff could be between the ages of 13 and 15.'Below a certain age, it is considered that there can be no debate on the sexual consent of a child, and that any child below a certain age would automatically be considered to be raped or sexually assaulted,' Schiappa said on BFM TV.
Two recent court cases have heightened the debate over who is old enough to consent to sex under French law.
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She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.Earlier Monday, French police said they have seen a rise in reports of sexual violence and harassment amid the growing global fallout from the accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.An official with the French national gendarme service said it had registered 30 percent more complaints this year so far than last year, notably in October.It is already illegal in France to have sex with under 15s, but rape charges can only be brought if prosecutors can prove the act was non-consensual.Amid public horror, the government is now drafting a bill to say sex with children under a certain age is by definition coercive.