The Criminal Court has sentenced a man to 14 years in jail for molesting a 16-year-old boy.
Ahmed Ibrahim, 38, of Lhaviyani Atoll Naifaru Island, was caught in a Malé City guesthouse with the boy in September 2012.
The Maldives Police Services say Ibrahim has a previous record of homosexuality and child abuse.
In 2002, Ibrahim was sentenced to nine months banishment and 15 lashes in public for homosexuality, the police said. While serving his sentence on Alif Alif Atoll Thoddoo Island, Ibrahim was caught sexually abusing another 16-year-old boy.
In 2009, Ibrahim was again accused of molesting two male minors in Malé, police said.
Reports of child abuse, especially that of young boys, have dramatically increased over the past few years.
According to police statistics, 220 sexual offenses cases, a majority of which involves child abuse, have been reported this year. In 2013, 573 cases were reported.
Although the rise in reported cases may represent a greater willingness to report child abuse, the Human Rights Commission Commission has suggested child abuse incidents are on the rise this year and has urged parents to be more alert.
“I believe it is not merely an increase in reporting, I think it is becoming more common. During our trips to twenty two islands around the country for our ongoing National Inquiry on Access to Education for Children with Disabilities, almost in all islands there were cases of physical, mental and sexual abuse of children,” HRCM Vice President Ahmed Tholal told Minivan News in April.
State Minister for Health Dr Aishath Ramila told local media in April that the ministry has failed to compile a legally mandated Sex Offenders Registry due to lack of access to criminal records.
“Even if we look at other countries, an Offenders Registry is always with the Police of the country. This is because all the criminal records of the offenders are within the police database. Gender ministry will not have their criminal records,” Ramila said.
“Will the register be maintained by us or the police? I think this is the first decision that we need to make”, she added.
She also said the Health Ministry does not have the resources to compile and maintain the registry.
A 51-year-old Indian national was arrested for sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in Faafu Atoll Feeali Island in April.
In January, the Ungoofaaru Magistrate Court in Raa Atoll sentenced a 51-year-old man to 10 years for sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy multiple times.