AUSTRALIA: Lebanese Muslim husband of 12-year-old pregnant wife arrested for sexual abuse

The 12-year-old Muslim bride who was forced by her father to get married in an illegal Islamic ceremony was pregnant at the time her 26-year-old Lebanese husband was charged with ongoing child sex abuse.

The 27-year-old man, whose identity is being protected, pictured at Burwood Local Court in May, has pleaded guilty to ongoing child sex abuse

The 27-year-old man, whose identity is being protected, pictured at Burwood Local Court in May, has pleaded guilty to ongoing child sex abuse

UK Daily Mail  The Islamic ‘wedding’ ceremony which is alleged to have been arranged by her father, took place in the girl’s lounge room in the Hunter region in NSW, in January last year.

Not long after the man, now 27, and can not be named for legal reasons (Why not?), was charged with one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child, the girl was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and then miscarried in February after complaining of abdominal pain,The Daily Telegraph reported. 

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The girl, now 13, didn’t want to marry the student because of the 14 year age gap but the man bombarded her with text messages after he first laid eyes on her in a mosque in November 2013, the court papers stated on Wednesday.

The man pleaded guilty in Burwood Local Court in October to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child, which carries a 25-year maximum jail sentence. The charge takes in 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and 14, with which the man was originally charged. 

The girl’s father will face trial this year. The father, who is in his 60s, allegedly arranged the illegal marriage. The father allegedly organized his daughter’s marriage to the Lebanese immigrant because he wanted to stop her from ‘committing a life of sin’.

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He was charged with procuring a child under 14 for unlawful sexual activities, and being an accessory before the fact to sexual intercourse with a person under 14. Court documents say the girl met the 27-year-old man at a mosque in November 2013  after he approached her father and asked to meet her.

Police allege the young girl’s father enabled his daughter’s sexual assault by organising the unlawful marriage – including allowing them to swap phone numbers and meet three times in the family home before the ceremony. The couple spent their wedding night at a motel in the Hunter region where they had sex several times, police allege.

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A week after the wedding, the father asked the girl’s older siblings to put two single mattresses next to each other to make a queen size bed so the couple had a bed in the family home. The imam who performed the ceremony pleaded guilty to solemnising the marriage and was fined $500.

In court documents it is claimed that since the marriage the pair engaged in sexual activities on a daily basis until February when their relationship was discovered by a Centrelink (welfare) worker, when the man tried to get registered as the girl’s legal guardian in order to obtain welfare benefits.

The man has had his student visa cancelled and is now living in an immigration detention centre.

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