Accompanied by her parents, the young girl, now 17, was discreet, sitting next to her psychologist, at the end of the bench of the civil parties.

The total camera, requested by his lawyer Me Carine Durrieu-Diebolt, was granted by the court. The press is therefore not authorized to follow the hearings.

Four associations for the defense of children and feminists are also civil parties.

At the other end of the room, the accused, assisted by Me Dylan Slama, declined his identity and his profession as a temporary worker before sitting down again.

The lawyers did not wish to make statements before the start of the proceedings before the criminal court, composed of five professional judges, without a popular jury.

The case had provoked a lively debate which led in April 2021 to the adoption of the law setting a threshold of automatic non-consent at 15 years.

On April 24, 2017, the schoolgirl is sitting in a park near her home, in Montmagny (Val-d’Oise). She is chatting with a 28-year-old man, who has already approached her two weeks earlier. The man, father of a 9-year-old child, invites him to follow her to his apartment building.

In a stairwell, at the request of the man, she performs oral sex on him. Interrupted by the caretaker, they go to the apartment where he lives with his family. A report with vaginal penetration takes place, without violence. Once out of the house, he tells her not to tell anyone.

She immediately calls her mother and tells her that she was raped.

The initial lawsuit, for “sexual abuse”, had aroused the ire of feminist and child protection associations.

The man had declared that the schoolgirl was consenting and that he did not know her age.

For her part, she claimed to have given her her age from their first meeting and to have insisted a second time by showing her school notebook. She explained that she had not run away or expressed her refusal to have sex, out of fear.

During the trial in February 2018, the criminal court declared itself incompetent and requested the opening of a new investigation.

At the end of the investigation, the magistrates considered that if there was neither violence nor physical constraint, the “moral constraint” and the “surprise” are established and justify the dismissal of the accused for rape .

The accused faces 20 years in prison. The verdict is expected Friday.