Frenchman First to Be Punished Under Anti-Catcalling Law

A French man who sexually assaulted a woman on a bus has been sentenced to three months in jail and fined $350 under France's new anti-catcalling law.

The man was arrested last week in the Paris suburb of Evry after he boarded a bus while drunk, slapped a woman on her behind and made lewd remarks about her body.

The driver of the bus closed the doors and called the police.

French justice ministry officials said it was the first time a fine has been imposed under the law, which was designed to deter predatory remarks and harassment such as wolf-whistles.

France's National Assembly enacted the law — passed in July — banning sexual or sexist comments that are "degrading, humiliating, intimidating, hostile or offensive."

Offensive acts include commenting on a woman's looks or clothing, catcalling, intrusive questions, unwanted following, and taking pictures under a woman's dress without her knowing.

Sexual harassment carried out in public can result in immediate fines of $104 to $876.

Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa praised the outcome, saying, "Together we will end sexist and sexual violence."

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