Man Jailed for 3months for tapping woman’s bottom in public

Man Jailed for 3months for tapping woman’s bottom in public

A man who slapped a woman’s bottom on a bus near Paris has been jailed for three months and, in a first under a new law against catcalling, also fined for lewd remarks about her physique.

The man, inebriated when he boarded the rush-hour bus, smacked the 21-year-old on the buttocks and made an insulting comment about her breasts, before a squabble with the bus driver, who jammed the doors shut while police were alerted.

A judge in Evry, south of Paris, sentenced the man, in his 30s, to three months in prison for the slap, considered an act of outright sexual aggression, and added a fine of €300 (£270) for the offending comments.

‘They just don’t see us as human’: women speak out on France’s harassment problem

Court and justice ministry officials said the fine was the first imposed under legislation that seeks to deter predatory remarks and harassing actions such as wolf-whistles, which are fairly commonplace in public life in France.

The minister behind the legislation, which also allows for on-the-spot fines of as much as €750, hailed the court decision. “Bravo for the bus driver’s quick-wittedness and the penalty imposed,” tweeted Marlène Schiappa, the gender equality minister.

The sentence comes weeks after an episode of violent sexual harassment in the street was captured on CCTV footage.

In the video, a man who had wolf-whistled a 22-year-old woman outside a Paris cafe was seen punching her in the face after she verbally rebuffed him. A suspect in that case was arrested in late August after the footage went viral, prompting a police hunt.

Globally, one in three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence, the United Nations estimates. In France, a recent survey showed 53% of women said they had experienced sexual harassment or assault.

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