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posted: 11/14/2017 7:00 AM

When child sex isn't rape: French to set age of consent

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PARIS -- Is a 13-year-old girl old enough to agree to sex with an adult? That's a question France is asking itself as the government prepares to set a legal age for sexual consent for the first time.

Twice in recent weeks, French courts refused to prosecute grown men for rape after they had sex with 11-year-olds because authorities couldn't prove coercion. Amid public horror, the government is drafting a bill to say sex with children under a certain age is by definition coercive.

Feminist groups plan a protest Tuesday to argue the age should be set at 15. Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet says 13 "is worth considering."

The age is just one piece of an upcoming bill on sexual violence and harassment. The bill has gained importance amid worldwide concern unleashed by the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

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