San Pedro man charged for Unlawful Sex with 14-year-old minor
Wednesday, August 10th, 2022
On Tuesday, August 9th, a 26-year-old San Pedro man named Justin Casanova was arrested and charged with three counts of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse. The police say that a 14-year-old female minor in the company of her mother made the report. According to the official report, in June of this year, the minor became acquainted with Casanova. In mid-July and on the 5th of August, she visited him at his house, where they had sexual intercourse.
The report did not explain if any investigations were done or what evidence was presented at the time of the report. Casanova, however, was detained and later charged.
The Laws of Belize regarding this offense
The Belize Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2013, under Code Six, says every person who, with or without consent, has sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 14 commits the offense of unlawful sexual intercourse and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term that is not less than 12 years but may extend to imprisonment for life.
Another section of that clause also notes that every person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a person who is above the age of fourteen years but under the age of 16 commits an offense and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term that is not less than five years but no more than ten years.
In the case of a person who is charged with a crime under that subsection who is under the age of 18, the presence of reasonable cause to believe that that other person was above the age of 16 shall be a valid defense on the first occasion on which such an accused person is charged with such a crime.
In Belize, the legal age of consent is 16. However, many believe that this age should be raised to 18.
Please help support Local Journalism in Belize
For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.Click to Donate