- Listed: February 26, 2015 3:06 am
- Expires: 423 days, 3 hours
Till what time we will tolerate this?
“Husband of pregnant 12 year-old bride charged with sex offences
A 12 year-old girl who married a man in an Islamic ceremony in NSW’s Hunter Valley has been found to have had an ectopic pregnancy.
A 12-year-old bride was found to be pregnant after the 27-year-old man she had ‘married’ in an Islamic ceremony was charged with child sex offences.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was initially charged with 25 counts of having sexual intercourse with a child in February last year.
He later pleaded guilty to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child, which carries a 25-year maximum jail sentence.
The statement of facts, which was tendered during his sentencing hearing in the Downing Centre District Court yesterday, revealed that soon after the man was charged, the girl was taken for a medical examination.
The girl, who is now 14, was suffering from “sharp right lower abdominal pain” and medical tests revealed that she was having “an ectopic pregnancy and miscarried”, court papers said.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy develops outside the uterus, and in many cases in one of the fallopian tubes.
The pair had been ‘married’ in an Islamic ceremony in the girl’s living room in the Hunter Region in January of last year.
After the ceremony the couple stayed at various motels throughout Sydney.
They had sexual intercourse, including oral sex, at least once a day almost every day until the man was charged, the papers said.
The accused man’s barrister, Alex Radojev, told the court that his client had only arrived in Australia from Lebanon just a few months before meeting the girl.
Mr Radojev said the man didn’t know he was doing the wrong thing because he told Centrelink staff that they were together when he was attempting to apply for guardianship and enrol her in school.
“It is a very clear indication that (the man), by his actions, was not seeking to hide anything,” Mr Radojev said.
But the prosecution argued that he was told by at least one member of the Muslim community that marrying the girl was illegal in Australia.
The court papers also said the girl initially did not want to be married to the man because he was too old but the man proceeded to send her a flood of text messages after he first saw her in a mosque in November 2013.
At first the girl did not reply to the messages but then began texting back.
A woman who gave a character reference for the man said she did not believe he was “deliberately flouting” Australian law.
Mr Radojev described the relationship as “mature” and said outside court that his client was “missing his wife”.
The accused man’s visa was cancelled when the charges were laid.
He is to be sentenced on March 6.
If you are the victim or know a victim of sexual assault contact the police immediately by calling 000 in an emergency and 13 14 44 in a non-emergency.“
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