• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Banned sex shop bids to reopen near Paris school

The Local/AFP · 11 Oct 2013, 11:24

Published: 11 Oct 2013 11:24 GMT+02:00

Is a dildo pornographic? That is the question that judges at the Cour de Cassation in France will now have to answer after a shopkeeper Nicolas Busnel lodged an appeal against a conviction for violating child protection laws for selling his products within 200 metres of a primary school.

Busnel, whose shop was 90 metres from a local primary school, was forced to close after the verdict last year, following a complaint from a Christian group, the CLER Love and Family Association.

The verdict had been denounced by Busnel’s lawyer as being based on "the most retrograde morality and the most worrying puritanism".

Busnel had denied that his shop's products, which included dildos and vibrators, violated the law and succeeded in having his case sent to France's highest appeal court.

On Thursday his lawyer Richard Malka argued that the law, which Busnel had flouted, refers to pornographic objects, but no court has ever ruled that a sex toy was pornographic.

Malka also stressed that no child or parent or teacher had ever complained about the presence of the sex shop near the school.

After losing the first case, Busnel was ordered by the court to pay a symbolic €1 in damages to the Le Cler Amour et Famille. He had faced up to two years in prison and a €30,000 ($40,000) fine.

At the hearing the association’s lawyer Henri de Beauregard whipped out two dildos to show the court, saying: “These are, without doubt, pornographic.”

In defense, Malka responded “I don’t want to know anything about these objects,” adding there was no proof they were sold by the shop.

He then hit back by pulling out a rubber duck and other items sold in the shop, in a bid to demonstrate to judges that they were not pornographic.

"France is today the only country in the Western world to consider a vibrating duck as a pornographic object," Malka had said.

He argued the restriction would make it nearly impossible for anyone to open a sex shop in densely populated central Paris.

Story continues below…

"This decision will inevitably lead to a ban in a capital of the Western world on all businesses selling sex toys," he said.

A lawyer for the Christian group De Beauregard said "the protection of children is not retrograde".

The appeal court is due to deliver its verdict on December 5th.

Don't miss a story about France - Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Opinion - French schools
Ten ways France must fix its 'failing' school system
What must France do to fix its school system? Photo: AFP

As pupils head back to the classroom this week, Peter Gumbel, a Paris-based British journalist and author of a best-selling critique of the French school system, spells out for The Local how France must fix a national education system in crisis.

16 things you almost certainly didn't know about France
One of the most famous roundabouts in the land of roundabouts. Photo: Amy Anderson/Flickr

Here are 16 facts from the brand new trivia book "F is for France". Did you know any of them? Be honest now.

Burqini row
Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
Photo: Screen shot/Ouest France

Protesters in Brittany take to the sea fully clothed after video emerges of a veil-wearing Muslim woman being asked to leave the beach in Nice, despite France's top court ruling burqini-bans are illegal.

American businessman to take over French club Marseille
Photo: AFP

The former owner of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team is set to become the new owner of troubled French football club Marseille.

Why expats are still happy about life in France
Photo: Dennis Jarvis/FLickr

Despite the fear over the heightened risk of terror attacks, expats are still very much content with the quality of life in France, a new survey has shown. Although there are drawbacks as well as positives.

Calais camp 'to pass 10,000' as UK warned over border
Photos: AFP

The camp's population has more than doubled since June, police say, as French politicians again call for the border deal with the UK to be torn up.

Parisians ignore 1923 ban to take the plunge in waterway
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: See Parisians take to the biggest swimming pool in the city.

Paris restaurant owner tells Muslim women to leave
Photo: AFP

Then says sorry after provoking outrage.

British man dies in France after trying to swim Channel
Photo Kondol/ Flickr

A British man's attempt to swim to France ended in tragedy.

French anti-burqini law would create 'irreparable tension'
Photo: AFP

A law banning the controversial burqini swim wear in France would be "unconstitutional" the French interior minister has warned and would create "irreparable tension".

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,753
jobs available