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France's Sarkozy gets tough on sex offenders

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France's Sarkozy gets tough on sex offenders


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised tougher treatment for sex offenders, because a convicted paedophile is suspected of raping a 5-year-old boy shortly after being released from prison. The scandal was high on the agenda at the first cabinet meeting after the holiday.

Sarkozy said: “Prisoners of this type, at the end of their sentence, will be examined by a panel of doctors and if they recognise that the subjects are dangerous, they will not be released. They will go to a closed hospital, where they will be treated.”

The scandal is proving to be one of several signs that maybe Sarkozy’s honeymoon period in office is coming to an end. The boy’s father and grandfather went to the Elysee Palace in Paris to meet the president. Afterwards, the child’s father said: “I have come here today to press for changes in the law, to make them more severe for monsters like that man.”

Francis Evrard, 61, was freed in July after serving 18 years of a 27 year sentence for raping children. Police say that after his release he snatched a 5-year-old from the street last week and raped him too. Evrard was found with the anti-impotence drug Viagra in his pocket, claiming it had been prescribed by a prison doctor before his release.

Sarkozy’s proposals would mean offenders would have to accept hormonal therapy before being released, even at the end of their sentence.

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