A man in France has been sent to jail for six months and ordered to pay a fine after assaulting a woman on a street in Paris.

A Facebook video from Marie Laguerre two months ago shows the 22-year-old being physically hit by a man brandishing an ashtray who she had just passed moments earlier.

The video went viral on social media and it saw a huge amount of support begin to grow in the country to have public sexual harassment punished.

Just days after the video became public knowledge, French lawmakers passed a law that introduced on-the-spot fines of up to €750 for cat-callers and other lecherous activities.

The man in the video, who has been identified only as Firas M, was arrested in August and recently found guilty for punching Laguerre.

Along with his jail sentence, he must also pay a €2,000 fine, undergo treatment for drug and alcohol-related issues and also attend classes on sexual and sexist violence.

Yahoo reports that if he reoffends in the next three years he will have to spend a further six months behind bars.

In his defence, he claimed that he had only complimented the woman on her dress and added:

There's not a man who has not spoken to a woman on the street.

He was convicted for aggravated violence with an object but not sexual harassment, as the aforementioned law was passed after the incident.

Noemie Saidi-Cottier, Laguerre's lawyer said after the sentencing:

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. 

Following the attack and the support she received, Laguerre has set up a website called Nous Toutes Harcelement which collects similar stories of street harassment.

HT Guardian

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