Marriage of under-age rape victim to her attacker is in accordance with existing laws, says Rohani Karim

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Karim. - Facebook

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KUCHING: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said the decision of the rape victim and her family in Sabah for her to continue marrying her attacker is in accordance with the existing laws, its minister Datuk Seri Rohani Karim said today.

She said the Islamic Family Laws of the various states have provisions that allow marriage for an under 16, but with the consent of the Syariah Court.

Rohani, however, said that marrying the rape victim will not protect the attacker from being sentenced to jail on the rape charge.

“The sentence imposed on the accused on the rape charge clearly shows that the legal system is firm in protecting victims of crimes, especially in cases involving children,” she said when clarifying her earlier statement regarding an under-age girl in Sabah marrying her 44-year old attacker.

She said her ministry does not encourage under-age children to get married and they should be given the opportunities to expand their full potential.

“In this respect, an under-age marriage can be challenging and putting pressure from physical and mental aspects as well as on the health, education and financial aspects of the children,” she said.

The Sabah girl, who is now 16, is still married to Riduan Masmud, 44, a former restaurant manager, who was convicted in 2015 of raping the girl two years earlier and is currently behind bars.

Riduan, who had four children, aged between two and 17 at the time of the offence, was charged with raping the girl in a vehicle near Kionsom Waterfall in Inanam between 9am and 10am on Feb 18, 2013.

He married the girl in May 2013 to escape conviction and was charged with bribing the girl’s father with RM10,000 to withdraw the police report the girl had made against him.

He was sentenced to 12 years’ jail after the Kota Kinabalu High Court dismissed the appeal in the statutory rape case. –