Rabat - The Appeal Court of Marrakesh has sentenced an American pedophile to two years in prison after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two 12-year-old children.
Rabat – The Appeal Court of Marrakesh has sentenced an American pedophile to two years in prison after he was found guilty of sexually abusing two 12-year-old children.
The Moroccan daily, Akhbar Alyaoum, reported in its April 9-10 edition that Chase Stevens was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 40,000 dirhams ($4,000) on Thursday.
The light sentence pronounced by court against the American pedophile caused an outcry in the city of Marrakech.
According to the newspaper, the lawyer of the victims, Rashid Al Ghorfi, said that the sentence didn’t meet the expectation of the victims’ families or those of the associations whose duty it is to defend minors against sexual harassment.
“Moroccan justice has failed somehow in this case. Given the conviction, it will be difficult to fight against pedophilia in Morocco,” he said.
In a statement to the Moroccan daily, the victims’ lawyer said that police found several photos displaying the perpetrator’s acts of sexual intercourse with foreign children on his computer.
The same source also noted that Stevens had confessed to the police of frequently engaging in sexual relations with children in his own country as well as Asia, which he visited often to satisfy his perverse fantasies.
According to the lawyer, the Moroccan justice, responsible for the conviction, has a record of pronouncing lenient sentences toward pedophiles.
Some recent cases involving pedophilia in Morocco have resulted in relatively light sentences; such as the case of the Italian pedophile Maroy Divilio, who was sentenced to only three months in prison; and that of the Frenchman Jean-Luc Marie Guiaume, who was sentenced to only two years in prison.
“These convictions will encourage pedophiles to go to Morocco for sexual reasons,” said the lawyer of the two victims.
The Moroccan Association of Human Rights branch in Marrakech has denounced the light judgment on the basis of the sentence being unjust for both the victims and for Moroccan society.
Morocco’s penal code punishes sex offenders with up to 30 years in prison.
According to a report by the association “Touche Pas à Mon Enfant” (Don’t Touch My Child), an estimated 71 cases of sexual abuse against children take place in the kingdom every day. There are approximately 26,000 cases annually.