Minor has baby: no charges laid

NZ Herald November 25, 2007
Police chose not to lay charges against a 21-year-old who fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl – even though he confessed to police he had been having sex with a minor. The pregnancy was highlighted last week by Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who used the case to illustrate “the wall of silence” protecting people who committed child abuse. The girl had started having sex from the age of 11 and Kiro claimed that no one in her family would come forward and shed any light on who was responsible. However, the Herald on Sunday understands the father turned himself in to police but was given only a verbal warning by officers. Rape Crisis is demanding answers about why police never charged the man with having sex with a minor. It says the police’s failure to do so sends extremely worrying mixed messages to teenagers. A conviction for having sex with someone under the age of 12 carries a maximum prison term of 14 years. Having sex with someone under the age of 16 carries a 10-year maximum prison term. Sources involved with the girl’s family told the Herald on Sunday the man had been involved in a sexual relationship with the girl since she was 11. When Child Youth and Family (CYF) became aware the girl was pregnant at 12, she was removed from the mother’s care and placed with a family member. Four months ago the girl gave birth. She was 13. It is understood the 21-year-old is still involved in a relationship with the girl and has supervised visits with his son. During the day the baby is cared for by a family member, allowing the girl to remain at school.

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