Govt to intervene in cases of rapists marrying victims


PUTRAJAYA: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will intervene before any individuals charged with rape is given the approval to marry the victim, said its minister Rohani Abdul Karim.

Referring to the case of a 22-year-old man whose rape charges were dropped after he married his 14-year-old victim, she said the matter should not have happened as rape was a serious offence and the offender should be sentenced if found guilty.

“Marriage of underaged girls must have the permission of the family, Shariah Court and the Chief Minister or Menteri Besar of the state.

“As such the ministry through the social welfare department will intervene to prevent such marriages,” she told a press conference, here today.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that a man who was charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in Sarawak last year escaped prison sentence after he married his victim.

The court proceeding was discontinued after the man produced a marriage certificate and the girl withdrew the complaint.

Rohani said the ministry was informed that the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) would request that the High Court reviewed the case.

“A rape case is still a rape case, the offender must be sentenced if he is found guilty, the case cannot be dropped by marriage,” she said.

The ministry is concerned over this matter and the public should be aware of children’s rights, she added.