Paris (AFP) – is it Necessary to prolong the time of limitation for rape on a minor? The debate has been re-launched after accusations that the presenter Flavie Flament against the photographer David Hamilton, was found dead Friday night.
The presenter 42-year-old is said to be “devastated” by the news of this death, probably a suicide, while reiterating its accusations of rape against the photographer when she was 13 years old, and in reminding those of other women who are “forward with courage and emotion in recent weeks.”
“It is to them that I think. Was this injustice that we were fighting together. By his cowardice, he again condemns the silence and the inability to see” convicted”, she said in a message sent to AFP.
But the deal would have anyway not been determined, the supposed facts stretching back almost 30 years, while the period of limitation is 20 years for the rape of minors from the majority of the victim. This deprived the host of any hope of repair, and the photographer — who had protested his innocence — of any possibility of defence.
This is based on the recurring question of a prolongation of this period, already arisen in the spring when accusations of pedophilia in the Church.
on Tuesday, the minister, Laurence Rossignol (Family, Childhood and the Rights of women) announced that they have entrusted Flavie Flament a mission of consensus on limitation and prescription periods.
“we need to think about” the question of the statute of limitations of sex crimes against minors, had already estimated in mid-October the secretary of State in charge of Assistance to victims Juliette Méadel, explaining be seized of a case-by-children, or associations that defend and have been “very struck by this failure that they have, because of the time limitation to lodge a complaint”.
- “Buried in the memory” -
Since 2004, the victims of sexual assault on a minor may bring a complaint up to their 38 years. But many voices plead for a prolongation up to 48 years.
“An element of traumatic breakage, hurts, we need this time,” says AFP Ernestine Ronai, national coordinator of the inter-ministerial mission for the protection of women victims of violence (MIPROF), provided that such injuries “are sometimes buried in the memory, and re-emerge years later, on the occasion of a pregnancy, an external event…”
Keep a limitation period longer in the case of minors, is important because it is a public “more vulnerable, which may be under the influence of the parent, with an authority which he must break away”, she adds.
In addition, there is a “ripple effect” of the complaint”, which releases the word of the other victims” on these topics are still hard to take, writes Ms. Ronai: “often there has not been a single victim, but several, the attacker is thinking above all.”
at the Beginning of October, the High council for equality was proposed to better protect minors, who represent 60% of the rape victims, establishing a threshold age, 13 years, below which the non-consent is presumed, and of lengthening the periods of prescription of rape.
sexual assaults on minors are imprescriptible in Switzerland or in the United Kingdom. California has just voted for the statute of limitations of rape after the case Bill Cosby.
But in France, the Parliament has not moved on the issue, despite several attempts in recent years. At the beginning of October still, the senators were discussing the possibility of extending the period to the 48-year-old victim, in the framework of the proposal of law Fenech-Tourret for the reform of prescription in criminal matters. But the idea has been rejected and the text is back to the Assembly.
Because it is also the question of prescription as a whole that is asked: as pointed out by the Senate in a card, “peace and the public peace commanderaient, after a certain period of time, to forget the offence, and not to revive the memory” — a kind of “great law of oblivion” which “contradicts the need of contemporary societies, to perpetuate the remembrance of past events or recall them to memory.”