PARIS (Reuters) - A French man charged with raping a boy after being imprisoned for two other child rape cases has written to President Nicolas Sarkozy asking to be castrated, fuelling a public debate about how to punish sex offenders.
France is considering forcing some sex offenders to undergo chemical castration, but the physical castration the man asked for is banned, French media reported Saturday.
The reports said Francis Evrard had asked in the letter for his testicles to be surgically removed.
Evrard is accused of kidnapping and raping the boy in 2007 after serving an 18-year jail sentence for the rape of two other boys. The boy's father, Mustafa Kocacurt, judged the request a stunt aimed at receiving a more lenient sentence.
"Why now, ten days before the trial? He could have done this two years ago or even before committing all his crimes," Kocakurt said on French television Saturday.
The debate over forced chemical castration was revived earlier this month by the rape and murder of a woman by a suspected re-offender.
France, along with a number of other European countries including Sweden and Denmark, already allows the use of drugs to lower the sex drive of offenders who agree to it.
Reporting by Sophie Hardach and Clement Dossin; Editing by Angus MacSwan