FRANCE

Child sex offender gets 30 years in 'castration' case

A French court has sentenced Francis Evrard, a repeat child sex offender, to 30 years in jail for kidnapping and raping a 5-year-old boy. The case had sparked a national debate about the use of castration in dealing with repeat sex offenders.

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A French court has sentenced a repeat child sex offender to 30 years in jail for the kidnapping and rape of a 5-year-old boy in a high-profile case that had rekindled a national debate about how to deal with repeat sex offenders.

The court sentenced 63-year-old Francis Evrard to 30 years in jail, including a 20-year jail term without possibility of parole, for the kidnapping and rape of 5-year-old Enis in the northern French town of Roubaix. 

Evrard, who has been convicted three times already for the same offence, had been in jail almost uninterruptedly between 1975 and July 2007. He was released from prison just over a month before his latest offence.

The case sparked a national debate after Evrard wrote to the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, asking to be physically castrated, a practice that is not allowed by French law.

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.”

A 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 kilometres south of Paris.

Some French lawmakers 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”.

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