Juvenile Court sentences 17 year-old boy to four months in prison for kissing girl

Additional reporting by JJ Robinson

The Juvenile Court has sentenced a 17 year-old boy to four months in prison after he kissed a 16 year-old girl in a court waiting room.

The girl was sentenced to four months house arrest.

The sentences were given after the boy was brought to court for a remand hearing in an ongoing drugs case, and kissed the girl who was in the waiting room. The pair were convicted for indecent behaviour and contempt of court for kissing on court premises.

“The boy was taken out of where those in custody are kept to the general waiting area, and walked right up to a girl standing there and kissed her in public. We found the girl to be 16 years of age,” a Juvenile Court official told Minivan News on condition of anonymity.

The official said although the girl involved in the matter had been sentenced to four months under house arrest, the court had ruled to delay implementation of the sentence for three years as this was her first offence. If the girl did not commit repeat offences of a similar nature in the next three years, the sentence against her would be annulled, the official said.

The four months would be added to the boy’ s drug sentence, the official added.

Harsh sentencing

Belying the country’s reputation as a luxury honeymoon destination, Maldivian courts issue harsh sentences for sexual offences.

In February 2013 a 15-year-old rape victim was sentenced to 100 lashes and eight months of house arrest, for a separate offence of fornication.

The girl had given birth to a baby in June 2012, which was discovered buried in the outdoor shower area of her home. Her stepfather was later charged with child sexual abuse, possession of pornographic materials and committing premeditated murder.

Following global outrage and a two-million strong petition threatening a tourism boycott by online activist group Avaaz.org, the girl’s sentence was overturned in the High Court on appeal.

Meanwhile in July 2013 the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) – the judiciary’s watchdog body – rejected the recommendation of its own subcommittee calling for the suspension of Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed.

Multiple leaked videos circulating on social media showed the judge fornicating with unidentified foreign women in a Colombo hotel room.

The JSC declined to suspend the judge, citing “lack of evidence”.