Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019. 7:27 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Yesterday a boy, 17, was arraigned at the Belize Family Court for the rape of a girl, 16.
Neither can be named for legal reasons.
No plea was taken by Magistrate Shantea Morrison-Novelo as the offense is indictable.
Bail was offered of $3,500 which he met, and the boy returns to court on April 30, 2019.
The 17-year-old, being a minor, could not sign bail on his own and so an adult parent or guardian had to sign bail for him. He was handed into the care of that adult who has to make sure he shows up to court on all adjournments in their care.
The specific circumstances of the case are not available at this time, but we are advised that under Belize’s revised and officially gender-neutral law, rape is defined as in Section 46(1) that “Every person who penetrates another person’s mouth, anus or vagina with his penis, without that person’s consent or a reasonable belief that the other person consents, commits the offence of rape and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term that is not less than eight years but may extend to imprisonment for life.”
As we understand it, while the minor girl is above the age of sexual consent at exactly 16 years, she complains she did not consent to intercourse with the boy, separating the circumstances from unlawful (even if consensual) sexual intercourse.///
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