15-year-old rape survivor found guilty of “fornication” by juvenile court in the Maldives
A 15-year-old survivor of rape has been found guilty of “fornication” or sex outside marriage by a juvenile court in the Maldives. She has been sentenced to eight months’ house arrest and 100 lashes. As per the law, the sentence of flogging is ordinarily carried out when she turns 18, but could be carried out earlier in exceptional circumstances.
The girl was first arrested after the body of a baby she had given birth to was found buried outside her house on Feydhoo Island in Maldives in June 2012. Authorities found that she had been raped by her stepfather, who has been charged with several offences, including the murder of the baby and the sexual abuse of a minor. Her mother has been charged with both concealing a crime, and murder. During their investigation, however, authorities came across evidence to support charges of “fornication” against the girl in a separate incident. The Prosecutor-General’s office pressed charges against her for “fornication” on 25 November 2012. She was found guilty and sentenced to flogging and house arrest on 25 February 2013. While she has a right to appeal, it is unclear whether she will exercise this option.
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