French teacher avoids jail after having sex with 14-year-old pupil

A French teacher was handed a suspended jail sentence Monday for having sex with a 14-year-old pupil, the latest of several cases fuelling debate over the age of consent.

French teacher avoids jail after having sex with 14-year-old pupil
Photo: AFP
The 31-year-old maths teacher had an affair for several months with the girl this year after they struck up a conversation on Instagram.
The pupil, who was in the man's class last year, insisted the pair were in love but her parents said he was a sexual predator who exploited his position of power.
The girl later told the court that she thought she had been “manipulated”.
The man was given an 18-month suspended sentence by a court in Fontainebleau outside Paris after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a minor aged under 15 while in a position of authority.
He has been banned from working with minors.
“I was completely out of control, I have no excuse,” he admitted in court.
“When I was with her she was just my girlfriend, not my pupil and not a 14-year-old girl,” he said.
There is no minimum age of consent in France, which does not treat sex between an adult and a minor as rape unless there is proof of force.
The government has promised to change the law after a man was acquitted of rape earlier this month, as the jury found no evidence he had forced an 11-year-old girl to have sex.
Currently, sex with a minor aged under 15 is classified as sexual assault, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Adults wielding some form of authority over the child face heavier sentences.
President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted a minimum age of consent of 15, in a speech on sexism to mark the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
First lady Brigitte Macron, who was once the president's drama teacher, has also vowed to play a part in combatting sexual crimes and sexism, after a wave of abuse claims worldwide.


Hackers post French hospital patient data online

Hackers who crippled a French hospital and stole a trove of data last month have released personal records of patients online, officials have confirmed.

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

The cyberattackers demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital near Paris a month ago, but the institution refused to pay.

The hospital said the hackers had now dumped medical scans and lab analyses along with the social security numbers of patients.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the unspeakable disclosure of hacked data,” health minister François Braun tweeted on Sunday.

Hospitals around the world have been facing increasing attacks from ransomware groups, particularly since the pandemic stretched resources to breaking point.

The problem has been acute in France, where officials estimated early last year that healthcare institutions were facing on average an attack every week.

President Emmanuel Macron last year called the attacks during the pandemic a “crisis within a crisis” and announced an extra one billion euros for cybersecurity.

During last month’s attack, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital shut down its emergency services and sent many patients to other institutions.

At one point, officials said the only technology still working was the telephone.

Rather than selling the trove of data, the hacker has dumped at least some of it for download on the “dark web” — a hidden part of the internet that requires special software to access.

Analysts said it seemed to be a tactic to put pressure on the hospital, even though public institutions are banned by French law from paying ransoms.

Cybersecurity researcher Damien Bancal, who revealed the leak and has seen the files, told AFP the worry is that other criminals will now launch scams with the data that has already been divulged.

In response to the leak on the weekend, the hospital severely restricted access to its systems and told patients to be extremely vigilant when receiving emails, text messages or phone calls.