A 12-year-old girl married in an Islamic ceremony to a 27-year-old man in New South Wales miscarried after becoming pregnant, court documents have revealed. A police statement of facts was tendered to the NSW District Court during the sentence hearing of the 27-year-old man.
The man has pleaded guilty to a charge of the persistent sexual abuse of a child after he told police he married the girl in an Islamic ceremony in the Hunter Valley last year. The man, who can not be named, faces a maximum 25-year sentence for the offence
UPDATE! In the NSW District Court Judge Deborah Sweeney gave the man, who cannot be named, a maximum sentence of 10 years with a non-parole period of seven and a half years. He will be eligible for parole in August 2021. He faced a possible 25-year sentence for the offence ::::
The court papers revealed that after he was charged last year, an examination at Westmead Children’s Hospital confirmed the child bride had “an ectopic pregnancy” and “miscarried”.
She was examined after she complained of stomach pain. The papers showed the man started texting the girl after he became aware of her at a mosque in late 2013.
The 12-year-old girl who was “married” in an Islamic ceremony in her family’s Hunter Valley home fell pregnant but miscarried, the court heard.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was examined at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead after she complained of sharp right abdominal pain. Doctors found she had an ectopic pregnancy – where the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus – and had miscarried.
The now 13-year-old’s pregnancy was revealed in a statement of facts tendered to the NSW District Court during a sentencing hearing for a 27-year-old Lebanese university student, who also cannot be named for legal reasons.
In October last year the man pleaded guilty to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years jail. The man’s student visa has been cancelled and he is being detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
The court was told the man arrived in Australia in June 2013 and first saw the girl at a Hunter Valley mosque in November 2013. He made inquiries about marrying her but after a supervised meeting he was told she was not interested as he was “too old”.
However, the man began contacting her by text message, sometimes sending dozens of messages a day. About a month later the girl began communicating with him.
The court heard the imams from the girl’s family’s mosque had told the man any marriage would be illegal and they would not assist. However, Sheikh Muhammad Tasawar, an Iranian cleric based at a different mosque, agreed to “marry” the couple. The ceremony took place in Arabic in a private home on January 12, 2014.
After the ceremony the couple had sexual relations and continued to do so while staying in a series of motels before moving into a rented house in western Sydney. The girl would remain at home each day as the man went to work or university.
In early February 2014, the man attempted to become her guardian so he could enrol her in high school. They were referred to Centrelink and Family and Community Services. Police were alerted and following an investigation the man was charged with 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14. The charges have since been rolled into one charge of persistent sexual abuse of a child.
After his arrest the girl was examined at hospital. The ectopic pregnancy was discovered a week later.
The man will be sentenced at a later date.
In March 2014 Tasawar, 35, the cleric who performed the marriage ceremony, plead guilty to the offence of solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person. He was fined $500 and his Religious Leaders visa was cancelled.
The girl, who is now 13, is in the care of authorities.
UPDATE! Groom Jailed For Seven and a Half Years
The man who married a 12-year-old girl in an Islamic ceremony in New South Wales has been jailed for at least seven and a half years.
The 27-year-old man pleaded guilty to the charge of the persistent sexual abuse of a child after he told police he married the girl in the Hunter Valley in 2014.
After he was charged an examination at Westmead Children’s Hospital confirmed the girl had an ectopic pregnancy and miscarried.
She was examined after she complained of stomach pain. Court papers showed the man started texting the girl after he became aware of her at a mosque in late 2013.
The girl, who is now 13, is in the care of authorities
In the NSW District Court Judge Deborah Sweeney gave the man, who cannot be named, a maximum sentence of 10 years with a non-parole period of seven and a half years.
He will be eligible for parole in August 2021. He faced a possible 25-year sentence for the offence.
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