The ruling was made because the young girl, 11, was not physically forced therefore she consented. No, a child can not consent to sex with an adult.
He told her that he would “teach her how to kiss.”
That’s how a 28-year-old man lured an 11-year-old child back to his apartment when the pair met in April. The man had approached the girl twice before. This time, she followed him back to his home in a Paris suburb. Once inside, the pair had sex in a stairwell.
Afterward, the girl told her parents, who went to the police. The man, they said, had raped their daughter. But this week, French prosecutors declined to charge the man with that crime. They had no evidence, they said, that he had been violent or that he’d constrained the girl or threatened her. And under French law, that means the girl had “consented” to sex.
Instead, the man has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. He will go on trial in February.
The girl’s attorney, Carine Diebolt, denounced the prosecutors’ decision. The defendant was aggressive with the girl, Diebolt said. He threatened to ruin her reputation if she told anyone. The lawyer argued, too, that a child can never meaningfully consent to sex with an adult, no matter what. “We should not even have this debate when it comes to a child,” Diebolt said. “There is a difference between curiosity and consent to a sexual act with a 28-year-old guy in a staircase.” WashingtonPost
The girl’s mother insists her daughter was raped.
“She thought it was too late, that she didn’t have the right to protest, that it wouldn’t make any difference, so she went into auto pilot, without emotion and without reaction,” the mother told the Mediapart news site.
One expert on similar cases told Le Figaro that “submitting was not consenting”.
Rape victims, the expert said, sometimes “switch off” and no longer feel fear. This is especially true among child victims, the expert told the paper.
Rights group Le Voix de l’Enfant said in a statement: “The question of consent or its absence should never even be asked when it comes to rape victims who are minors”.
Other groups have called for the French legal system to introduce a legal age under which sexual consent is never presumed.