Marrying victim won’t protect rapist from penalty

PUTRAJAYA, 9 Aug 2017: 

A rapist who marries his victim is not exempted from punishment of the crime, said the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM).

Commenting on news reports on the status of a girl in Sabah who married her rapist, the ministry said the jail sentence imposed on the man was proof the current legal system is capable of protecting the victims – especially in cases involving children.

As the ministry responsible for the protection and welfare of children, it said the ministry did not encourage child marriages and they should be given the opportunity to develop their full potential.

It added that underage marriages could challenge the child’s physical and mental development in various aspects like health, education and finances.

“However, the ministry accepts the decision made by the victim and family to continue with the marriage under existing laws,” it said in a statement yesterday.

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim had said the girl, now 16 years old, was well and living with her family while her husband served a 12-year sentence.

The KPWKM said under the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) 1984 and the Islamic Family Law Enactment in the states, marriages under 16 years of age were allowed with permission from the syariah court.

“The ministry is committed to giving the necessary social support such as counselling and scheduled monitoring for the sake of the child and her family.”

It added that the latest visit on the teenager found her living comfortably with her parents, helping her mother look after the children of her sister and brother who lived with them.

The Welfare Services Department would continue to monitor her condition and give the necessary support, the ministry said.

Separately, a Myanmar man who tried to rape a nine-year-old – also from Myanmar – was sentenced to 10 years’ jail and two strokes of whipping by the KL sessions court.

Judge Azrul Darus sentenced Mohammad Rofik Mohammad Husson, 55, who is unemployed, after the accused changed his plea to guilty on the second day of the hearing of the case yesterday.

“This court sentences him to 10 years’ jail from the date of arrest, March 7, 2017, and since there was an element of violence (in the incident), the court ordered him to be caned twice.”

The father of five committed the rape attempt at a rented house in Ampang Jaya at 7pm on March 6.

He was charged under Section 376 (2) (e) of the Penal Code,  read together with Section 511, which carries a jail term of up to 30 years and whipping.

According to the facts of the case, the accused – who lived in the same house with the girl – wanted to borrow a phone charger from the victim because his cellphone had run out of battery.

The victim then went to the room to give him the charger, but the accused tried to rape her. The victim managed to scream to summon her sister who was in the kitchen.

– Bernama

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