The trial of repeat child sex offender Francis Evrard is prompting French officials to take a new look at whether castration should be used as a way to prevent recidivism.
The debate about how to handle repeat child sex offenders has been reignited in France Monday with the latest court proceedings in the case of Francis Evrard, who has been convicted three times for the same offence and is now petitioning the government to be physically castrated.
Between 1975 and July 2007, Evrard served time almost constantly in prison for three different child sex convictions. Just over a month after his July 2007 release, he kidnapped and raped a 5-year-old boy named Enis in the northern French town of Roubaix.
Ervard’s case shot into the national spotlight when the 63-year-old wrote a letter last month to French President Nicolas Sarkozy asking to be physically castrated, which is against the law in France.
But the longstanding debate over forced chemical castration was sparked earlier this autumn after a suspected repeat offender raped and murdered a woman in Milly-la-Fôret, a town 50 kilometers south of Paris.
Some French law makers are looking at the possibility of certain sex offenders undergoing forced chemical castration, and perhaps also allowing physical castration.
French Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said in an interview with Le Figaro magazine on October 24 that physical castration should be “debated in Parliament”.
‘Trying to pass for a martyr’
Chemical castration is a reversible process in which the administration of drugs or injections lowers the sex drive. France, along with a number of other European countries including Sweden and Denmark, already allows the procedure if offenders agree to it.
In his letter to Sarkozy, Evrard wrote that “at my age, [physical castration] would not cause me suffering and it would block my tendencies toward children.”
However, the father of Enis, Mustafa Kocakurt, said that Evrard is “mocking everyone” and “trying to pass for a martyr”.
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