• France's news in English

Court backs ban on Paris sex shop near school

Ben McPartland · 5 Dec 2013, 12:52

Published: 05 Dec 2013 12:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Nicolas Busnel, whose shop, named "1969 Desirable Curiosities" was 90 metres from a local primary school, was forced to close last year, following a complaint from a Christian group, the CLER Love and Family.

Busnel was later convicted over violation of child protection laws for selling his products within 200 metres of a primary school.

The verdict had been denounced by Busnel’s lawyer as being based on "the most retrograde morality and the most worrying puritanism". Busnel lodged an appeal against the decision but on Thursday his legal battle appeared dead in the water when a Paris court confirmed his conviction.

"This is a sensible decision. An eight-year-old child coming out of the school should not be able to come face to face with an array of sex toys, " said Henri de Beauregard, the lawyer for the associaton CLER Love and Family

Busnel had argued that his shop's products, which included dildos, vibrators and Ben Wa balls, did not violate a 2007 law that ruled it was illegal to sell pornographic objects close to a school.

His lawyer Richard Malka had previously argued that no court had ever ruled that a sex toy was pornographic.

In an earlier hearing CLER's lawyer De Beauregard whipped out two dildos to show the court, saying: “These are, without a doubt, pornographic.”

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

(1969 Desirables Curiosities)

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

He now has ten days to lodge an appeal.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Homeless man does a runner from France's top restaurants
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Photo: Jacme/Flickr

Move over Paris...

And France's top chef of the year is... 'Monsieur Idiot'
Alexandre Couillon might have an unfortunate name, but he can sure cook!. Photo: AFP

Look beyond the name. He's the man who turned his family's humble "moules frites" joint into one of France's best seafood restaurants.

Could France do more to ease the worries of 'Brexpats'?
Photo: AFP

Paris is rolling out the red tape for British firms, so why not British citizens in France?

Brexit: Brits in France could face 'cataclysmic' impact
Photo: AFP

Can't France make it easier for Britons to get French nationality?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Want to drive a scooter around Paris? Here's what you need to know
jobs available