underage sex - is this a crime???

  1. 1,481 Posts.
    Interesting trial underway.....

    Last night on the Practice a similar plot was played out except a young 12 year old girl sought political asylum in the US becasue her parents from Romania were taking her back to be wed (at the age of 12) and she didnt want to either get married or have sex

    The show took the line that the US has no right to impose its values on other culture via its court so the pa was refused.

    Food for thought.......

    Island women stand by their men
    By Claire Harvey in Adamstown, Pitcairn Island
    September 29, 2004

    THE women of Pitcairn

    As one of the world's most remote territories prepares for the trial of seven island men on child sex charges, their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers yesterday gathered in the tiny settlement of Adamstown to declare their innocence.

    In this tiny community of 47, everyone has a relative who will go on trial for his freedom tomorrow.

    One woman will see her father, son and husband in the dock, accused of participating in what prosecutors say is an ingrained culture of Pitcairn men using young girls for sex. Yes, underage sex has always been part of Pitcairn culture, said three generations of Pitcairn women at yesterday's meeting, but it was consensual.

    They said allegations that children as young as five were molested were untrue.

    And two island women who initially gave evidence to police said they had withdrawn their statements, claiming investigators had offered them compensation in return for their evidence.

    Some of the Pitcairners did not speak at the meeting, but all who attended were lending moral support to the seven defendants and six other Pitcairn men who are being extradited to face additional charges.

    In all, the first seven men face 55 charges of rape, gross indecency and indecent assault.

    The defendants say they are worried they will not get a fair hearing.

    Islander Nadine Warren said the court case, which is to begin tomorrow in the white wooden public hall of Pitcairn Island, could destroy the community.

    "None of the women want this to happen," she said.

    If the men are convicted and jailed in the newly-built island prison, she said many of their wives and children would desert Pitcairn.

    "Anything to save the guys," she said.

    The island's culture involved girls starting sex at 11, 12 or 13, said Olive Christian, wife of island Mayor Steve Christian.

    "We thought sex was like food at the table, it's hot stuff," she said.

    "It takes two to tango," Charlene Warren added.

    Charlene, 22, and her sister Darralyn Griffiths, 26, both initially told investigating police they began having sex with adult men while still 12 or 13.

    Yesterday they insisted the sex was consensual.

    "I was 13 (when I started having sex) and . . . I felt like a big lady. I wanted it," Ms Griffiths said.

    Her sister, now a mother of four, said she had been told by investigating police officer Karen Vaughan that she would be eligibile for $3730 in compensation. "I was offered some good money for each person that I could name," she said.

    Both sisters said they had now withdrawn from the prosecution case.

    The women who are still giving evidence are probably confused or deluded, Nadine Christian said.

    "I was so surprised there's talk about the five-year-old," she said.

    "If there was a five-year-old, people would know. These people are not perverts. People wouldn't stand for a five-year-old being interfered with."
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