Pedophile trial stirs castration debate in France


A Frenchman with multiple convictions for sexual crimes went on trial on Monday charged with kidnapping and raping a five-year-old boy. The case has prompted officials to consider castration for repeat offenders.

Francis Evrard has already spent 30 years in prison for sex offenses. Just over a month after his July 2007 release, he kidnapped and raped a boy in the northern French town of Roubaix.

The case has fueled a debate in France about the punishment of sex crimes.

Last month, the 63-year-old wrote to President Nicolas Sarkozy asking for his testicles to be removed to stop him offending again.

France, along with a number of other European countries, allows “chemical castration” or the use of drugs to lower the sex drive of offenders who agree to it.

But in his letter to Sarkozy, Evrard wrote: “At my age, [physical castration] would not cause me suffering and it would block my tendencies toward children.”

Surgical castration is illegal in France and the president has not commented publicly on the appeal.