A man who punched a woman outside a Paris cafe, prompting outrage after a video of the assault went viral, was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a €2,000 fine, lawyers in France have said.
The video of the attack on a 22-year-old student, Marie Laguerre, which she uploaded to social media, bolstered support for plans to punish sexual harassment on France’s streets and public transport with fines.
The court determined that the defendant, named only as Firas M, was responsible for his acts when he punched Laguerre.
The sentence also included a suspended six-month jail term and and order for him to undergo treatment for drug and alcohol problems.
Uproar in France over video of woman hit by harasser in Paris street Read more
Noemie Saidi-Cottier, Laguerre’s lawyer, said: “My client wanted a punishment but she didn’t want his head to roll, she just wanted him to learn a lesson. If he never does that again, she feels she has won.”
Days after the video went viral, lawmakers adopted a law imposing on-the-spot fines of up to €750 on cat-callers and aggressively lecherous people.
Firas M was convicted for aggravated violence with an object used as a weapon and not sexual harassment because the new law was passed after the assault.
The footage showed a man throw an ashtray at a woman he had yelled at, then walk back towards her and punch her in the face before walking away. Three men and a woman from the cafe terrace challenged him but eventually let him go.
Police arrested him in August.
- Sexual harassment
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