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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-22-98

French Law Declares Women Incapable of Rape

A ruling handed down by France's Supreme Court Wednesday declared that women are incapable of rape because they lack a phallus with which to sexually penetrate men. "The material element of the crime of rape is only realized if the perpetrator commits the act of sexual penetration on the person of the victim," the judgment read.

The new ruling overturned a lower court's ruling in a case against Catherine Maillard, charged with forcing her underage stepson to have sex with her continuously between 1986 and 1992.

France's Supreme Court, the "Cour de Cassation," ruled that Maillard cannot be tried for rape because she is a woman, and instead will be tried for "aggravated sexual aggression."

The court's judgment contradicts a previous ruling that contended that forcing someone to perform an act of oral sex was legally equivalent to rape.

Media Resources: Nando.net Reuters - October 21, 1998


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