Minor has baby: no charges laid

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Minor has baby: no charges laid

Bericht  Admin op ma dec 03 2007, 04:41

5:00AM Sunday November 25, 2007
By Stephen Cook
source: nzherald.co.nz


Minor has baby: no charges laid cheers


Police chose not to lay charges against a 21-year-old who fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl - even though he confessed to police he had been having sex with a minor.

The pregnancy was highlighted last week by Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who used the case to illustrate "the wall of silence" protecting people who committed child abuse.

The girl had started having sex from the age of 11 and Kiro claimed that no one in her family would come forward and shed any light on who was responsible.

However, the Herald on Sunday understands the father turned himself in to police but was given only a verbal warning by officers.

Rape Crisis is demanding answers about why police never charged the man with having sex with a minor. It says the police's failure to do so sends extremely worrying mixed messages to teenagers.

A conviction for having sex with someone under the age of 12 carries a maximum prison term of 14 years. Having sex with someone under the age of 16 carries a 10-year maximum prison term.

Sources involved with the girl's family told the Herald on Sunday the man had been involved in a sexual relationship with the girl since she was 11. When Child Youth and Family (CYF) became aware the girl was pregnant at 12, she was removed from the mother's care and placed with a family member. Four months ago the girl gave birth. She was 13.

It is understood the 21-year-old is still involved in a relationship with the girl and has supervised visits with his son. During the day the baby is cared for by a family member, allowing the girl to remain at school.

A source told the Herald on Sunday the girl's mother was aware her daughter's relationship was of a sexual nature, but chose to do nothing about it. For five months, the girl had managed to hide the pregnancy, and authorities became involved only after being alerted to the case by the girl's doctor.

It was then that CYF intervened. CYF is understood to still be monitoring the girl, but with the refusal of police to act in the case it is hamstrung over taking any action about her relationship with the baby's father.

Asked about police protocols in the case of someone having sex with a minor, a spokesperson at Police National Headquarters said charges were laid only if there was sufficient evidence and proceeding with a case was in the public interest.


Rape Crisis spokeswoman Sandz Peipi said the fact the 21-year-old had been involved with the girl when she was only 11 was "disturbing and quite perverse".

Whether the sex was consensual was irrelevant because of the girl's age and the man should have been charged by police.

The fact he had admitted committing "statutory rape" meant police had more than sufficient evidence to go on, Peipi said. She was also surprised police did not believe it was in the "public interest" to lay charges.

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