Law n° 2020-05 of January 10, 2020 modifying Law
n° 65-60 of July 21, 1965 on the Penal Code
EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
Sexual violence is a serious form of attack on the
integrity of persons, the main victims of which are
women and children. With a view to strengthening the
protection of these vulnerable categories, the State of
Senegal has, early, set up a penalty, updated according to
changes in society.
The last reform relating to the repression of offenses with
a sexual connotation dates back two decades. Indeed, law
n°99-05 of January 29, 1999 modifying certain provisions
of the Penal Code, among other innovations, defined rape
and strengthened its regime, especially when it is
accompanied by certain aggravating circumstances. This
law, however, did not make it a crime, except where the
rape is followed by the death of the victim. It also
widened the repression to acts of pedophilia which were
apprehended only in their vague form of indecent assault
without violence.
The penalties carried by these texts deserve to be updated
in the direction of their strengthening, in view of the
multiplication and intensification of acts of sexual assault
noted recently, as well as the devastating consequences of
these offenses.
The victims come out traumatized, humiliated,
dishonored and sometimes stigmatized. They often suffer
the consequences of it all their life. These sufferings are
both physical and psychological, ranging from sexually
transmitted diseases to disorders of the behavior, through
pregnancy and loss of self-esteem.
With the criminalization of rape and pedophilia, a
symbolic step will be taken to properly situate the blame
on the rapist rather than on the victim.
Criminalization will also be an instrument of deterrence
of possible perpetrators of sexual assault and, if
necessary, of very severe punishment in case of
consuming the offence.
This bill fully criminalizes rape and pedophilia, with
penalties including life imprisonment. The maximum
penalties attached to others sexual offenses, such as
indecent assault and sexual harassment, is also noted,
with above all the institution of minimum penalties or
fixed penalties, even when the judge finds mitigating
circumstances for the benefit of the perpetrator. The
penalties for violent indecent assault, pedophilia and
sexual harassment have been scaled up. Indecent assault
on a 13-year-old minor with or without violence is now
absorbed by the offense of pedophilia. The circumstance
of authority provisions has been simplified and
readjusted.

Some adjustments to preserve the overall consistency of
the system are also made. The penalty of forced labor,
although still present in our positive law, constitutes an
anachronism which must be expunged. It is no longer
executed even when it is pronounced. Its mention
constitutes a hindrance or an obstacle to requests for
international judicial cooperation. The "criminal
imprisonment" is therefore substituted for the penalty
"forced labor" in the previous provisions where it is
provided for. Finally, the terms “afflictive” and
“infamous” are deleted.
Such is the structure of this bill.
The National Assembly adopted in its session of
Monday 30 December 2019, The President of the
Republic promulgates the law, the content of which
follows:
First article. - Articles 1, 7, 24, 42, 319 bis, 320, 320 bis,
321, 431 and 432 of the Penal Code are amended as
follows:
Article 1. - The offense which the laws punish with
police penalties is a contravention.
The offense which the laws punish with correctional
penalties is a misdemeanor.
The offense which the laws punish with criminal
penalties is a crime.
Article 7. - The penalties in criminal matters are:
1. Life imprisonment;
2. Temporary imprisonment;
3. Criminal temporal detention;
4. Civic degradation.
Article 24.- Anyone who has been sentenced to criminal
penalty will also be, during the term of his sentence, in a
state of legal prohibition; a tutor and a subrogated tutor
will be appointed to manage and administer his property,
in the forms prescribed for the appointments of tutors
and subrogated tutors for prohibited persons. The legal
ban will not take effect while on parole.
Article 42.- Anyone who has already been sentenced to a
criminal penalty will commit a new crime, will be liable
to double of the penalty incurred. However, the
individual sentenced by a court of the Armed Forces will
not, in the event of a subsequent felony or misdemeanor,
be liable to the penalties of recidivism unless the first
sentence has been pronounced for crimes or
misdemeanors punishable according to ordinary criminal
laws.
"Article 319 bis. - The fact of harassing others by using
orders, gestures, threats, words, writings or coercion in
order to obtain favors of a sexual nature, by a person
abusing the authority that he has from his functions, will
be punished by imprisonment of two to five years and a
fine of 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 francs.

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