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Man sentenced to death for engaging in sexual activities with minor

By Rana Husseini - Mar 01,2016 - Last updated at Mar 01,2016

AMMAN — The Cassation Court will start reviewing a Criminal Court ruling sentencing a 21-year-old man to death after convicting him of engaging in sexual activities with a minor in 2014.

The Criminal Court declared the defendant guilty of engaging in sexual activities with a minor under 12 years old and handed him the death penalty last week, a senior judicial source said on Tuesday.

The defendant confessed to the offence, informed the court he planned to marry the victim and asked to be pardoned based on Article 308 of the Penal Code, the judicial source told The Jordan Times.

Article 308 of the Penal Code stipulates that rapists, molesters and individuals engaged in consensual sex with girls under the age of 18 are spared punishment or legal prosecution if they marry their victims and stay with them for three years (in misdemeanour convictions) or five years (criminal conviction).

The victim also notified court that she wished to marry the defendant and that her family accepted his marriage proposal, the court added.

However, the two could not be wed as “the Chief Islamic Justice Department refused to tie the knot because the victim was under 15”, the judicial source explained. 

An amendment to the Personal Status Law in 2002 changed the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18 for both boys and girls, but left room for exceptions for marriages between the ages of 15 and 18 if the judge deems it would “benefit both spouses”.

Court papers said the victim, who was 11 years and nine months when the incidents occurred, and the defendant knew each other by phone and started meeting.

“Their relationship developed into a sexual one, and they engaged in sexual activities four times, then the matter was discovered,” court transcripts said.

Under the Jordanian Penal Code, engaging in sexual activities with a girl under the age of 12 is punishable by death, the judicial source said.

Sexual assaults against girls aged between 12 and 15 are punished by 15 years in prison, and if the girl loses her virginity, the punishment is raised to 20 years, the judicial source explained.


Perpetrators who assault teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 18 could receive a punishment of up to seven years, which could increase to 10 years if the victim lost her virginity in the process, the judicial source added.

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