Fez - The Court of Appeal of Tetouan in northern Morocco has reduced a one-year jail sentence for German journalist to six months based on his agreement to marry one of the girls he was convicted of molesting, according to Spanish news agency EFE.
Fez – The Court of Appeal of Tetouan in northern Morocco has reduced a one-year jail sentence for German journalist to six months based on his agreement to marry one of the girls he was convicted of molesting, according to Spanish news agency EFE.
The journalist, who was convicted of attempting to seduce two underage teenage girls, reached an agreement with the family of one of the girls to marry her.
The German citizen was arrested last March when a group of people caught him red-handed inside his car with the two 16-year old girls near their high school.
The journalist, who had been sentenced to one year in jail and has already served four months, claimed he was innocent of the charges and emphasized that he intended to marry one of the girls.
The reduction in the sentence will likely stir a controversy in the country as it is reminiscent of the case of Amina Filali, a teenager who committed suicide in 2012 after she was forced by her family to marry her rapist.
According to Morocco’s penal code, raping an underage child is punishable by 20 to 30 years of imprisonment. The law is rarely enforced, however, and as the case of the German journalist demonstrates, a rapist can still escape prison or receive a reduced sentence if he agrees to marry his victim.
The Moroccan government has made promises to reform the country’s penal code and impose harsher sentences on sex offenders. But this sentence indicates that Morocco still has a way to go towards protecting its citizens from sexualpredators.
As recently as July 18, the criminal court of Marrakech sentenced a pedophile, who had been convicted of raping a 10-year old child, to as little as 2 years in prison.
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