While I don't feel much with France in a crush-type of way, I still respect him and love him in a different way. I've always seen France as more of a doting big brother who annoys and teases his siblings on occasion (but especially England, after seeing the episodes of the two of them as kids). I never actually saw him as a rapist. Even the creator of Hetalia shot down those accusations. Yes, he can be perverted, but I believe that he never crossed the line. He's a passionate person and believes in love.
I think these episodes centring around France's past and his feelings were made specifically so people who don't follow the online skits and actually think he is a rapist could see a side of him that shows him in a different and more complex light. I like to think that, after seeing these episodes, several previous France-haters came to understand him more.