PM: The law is clear on a minor having sex.
SEVEN years in prison and a fine of $15,000 is the punishment parents, doctors, nurses, teachers and employers face if they have reason to believe a minor is sexually active and fail to report it to the police.
This was the reminder given by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday during a news conference held at the Noor Hassanali room in the Parliament Chamber, Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain.
Persad-Bissessar’s reminder came on the heels of startling statistics revealed by Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh in the Senate on Tuesday where he stated there are over 2,500 teen pregnancies each year with most of them for fathers in the 25-to-40-year age group.
Persad-Bissessar said, according to the law any sexual act against an unmarried child under the age of 16 is considered rape.
According to Section 6(1) of the Sexual Offences Act anyone who is found guilty of having sex with a female under 14, who is not their wife, is liable to be imprisoned to life in prison.
Section 7 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act says a first-time offender who has sex with a female between the age of 14 and 16, who is not their wife, is liable to 12 years in prison.
A repeat offender faces 15 years imprisonment, Section 7(1) states.
Persad-Bissessar described rape of minors as “heinous” and said no excuses should be tolerated.
“They are heinous crimes against children, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds, a child’s life is gone forever,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She chastised those who may seek to blame the minors.
“I will not entertain statutory rape of a child and use the excuse that the child too hot. No excuse and no exception, I am not going to tolerate that at all,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar said according to Section 31(1) parents, guardians, attendants, employers, teachers, doctors, nurses and midwives, who know a minor is sexually active, have a legal obligation to report the incident to the police…READ MORE