A French man who slapped a woman and threw an ashtray at her after she told him to “shut up” in response to his lewd comments was given a six-month custodial sentence and ordered to pay his accuser $2,300 on Thursday. The 25-year-old defendant in the case had been seen attacking 22-year-old student Marie LaGuerre outside a Paris cafe in a video that went viral on social media. The man, who had previously served prison time for pimping and violence against his mother, will also be forbidden from contacting Laguerre and be required to attend classes on sexist violence and domestic abuse. If the defendant reoffends within the next three years, the judge ruled, he will incur at least an additional six months in prison.
In a Facebook account of the incident, Laguerre had accused the man of using “dirty language, in a humiliating and provocative manner. I told him to shut up and kept walking away, because I can’t stand this kind of behavior. I can’t keep quiet, and we mustn’t keep quiet any longer,” she recalled.
During the trial, the defendant denied making sexual remarks and claimed that he had only complimented Laguerre’s dress. “There’s not a man who has not spoken to a woman on the street,” he contended.
Laguerre, who set up the website “Nous Toute Harcelement” (We are all harassed) in the wake of the attack in an effort to encourage other women to share their own stories of harassment, has hailed the ruling as “balanced.” In particular, she said, she thought it was important that her harasser would be made to take an anti-sexism course to help enable the possibility of him changing his future behavior.
Read the full story at Yahoo News.