Rape case prompts a review of sexual offences law

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The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda has agreed to establish a sub-committee to examine further any changes to the law that would cure the deficiency.

The decision was made after an adult male who was accused of having sexual intercourse with a thirteen-year-old female had the case against him dismissed because the young girl refused to testify against the accused male.

The outcome of the case alarmed many groups and ordinary citizens, several of whom expressed their displeasure.

“Cabinet agreed that the legal framework was exploited, and that there likely exists methods by which the law can be strengthened to protect minors unwilling to testify.”

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4 COMMENTS

  1. It seems like certain people can do what they want in Antigua and Barbuda and walk free. If the young girl is belong to the States of Antigua and Barbuda, then the States need to proceed with this rape case against the then accused. The decision in which the young girl had decided is not going the heal her it is going to haunt her for the rest of her life. Someone will need to keep an eye closely on the young girl from now on.

  2. WHAT DEFICIENCY?

    What reportedly transpired, seemed ‘…Kangarooish.’

    In the first place, no Crown Counsel has authority to take ‘…minor rape victims to
    open Courts’ to address a Judge about prosecution.

    They are witnesses for the prosecution and not Crown prosecutors. Their attendance
    is always for the purposes of giving evidence, and not to offer explanations for personal decisions.

    The instant case of a then ‘…13 year-old female who alleged that a then 47 year-old
    male had sexual intercourse with her, speaks to an offence of ‘…Strict Liability.’

    Thus, ‘…even with consent,’ engaging in a sexual act could bring consequences of incarceration.

    The law provides no discretion for any ‘…minor rape victim in the specified age
    category to make prosecutorial decisions.’ These reside only with the office of
    the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

    It unambiguously states, ‘…Where a male person has sexual intercourse with a female person who is not his wife, WITH HER CONSENT, and who has attained the age of fourteen years but has not yet attained the age of sixteen years, he is guilty of an offence, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for ten years’ [Section 6 (i)]. The element that constitutes the sexual act is ‘…AGE,’ verifiable only by documentary evidence -a ‘…Certificate of Birth.’

    What is particularly deficient in the law [Sexual Offences Act: No. 9 of 1995]?

    Though not an enforcer of laws, a Cabinet, comprising members of the legal profession,
    shall never be seen as being reckless not to know that the law is not the culprit of what
    had reportedly transpired in the Court.

    In their capacity as ‘…legislators or law-makers,’ they shall feign no ignorance, or display starvation of knowledge of the law.

    This may not necessarily be said of ‘…Attorneys Samantha Marshall and Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin.’

  3. They can start by raising the age of consent to 18 years old. You cannot vote or drive leagally till you are 18 but at 16 consent to sex. Time for that crap to come to an end.

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