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National Commission for Families and Children condemns ‘unduly lenient sentence’ given to man convicted of unlawful sex with 9-year-old girl

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2022. 8:04 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The National Commission for Families and Children (NCFC) has made public its disapproval of a decision by the judiciary to impose a three-year-suspended sentence for a man convicted of having unlawful sex with a nine-year-old girl.

The case in question was called up in the Supreme Court before Justice Ricardo O’Neil Sandcroft last week where 24-year-old Edwin Lanza, was given a three-year suspended sentence and required to go to counseling after pleading guilty to having sex with the child on two separate occasions. Notably, Lanza was not free to go as he is currently serving time at the Belize Central Prison for a separate offense.

“The National Commission for Families and Children expresses our shock and disappointment at what we respectfully consider to be an unduly lenient sentence issued by the judge of the High Court as it relates to the sexual abuse of a nine-year-old child,” the NCFC said. “We share with the Belizean public the sense of outrage and view that a more severe punishment reflecting society’s absolute disapprobation of such a heinous crime was called for and for which the law provides.”

The Commission also called on like-minded members of society to publicly denounce the sentence and called on authorities to take whatever steps necessary to address the situation which it describes as an “injustice.”

Justice Sancroft, in delivering his sentence told Lanza that he was a minor when the first offense was committed and as such consideration was given to him when contemplating sentencing. Lanza was 17 years old at the time of the first offense.


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