Man who raped, then married minor in Malaysia gets 12 years in jail

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KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysian court sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for raping a 12-year-old whom he later married, as an activist urged the Muslim-majority nation to ban all child marriages.

The district court in Sabah state on Borneo island found former restaurant manager Riduan Masmud, 41, guilty of raping the girl in February last year, his lawyer Ram Singh said. The father-of-four was charged with rape shortly after the act, but in May last year told the court that he had married the girl. The case caused an outcry and prosecutors continued to pursue the rape charge.

"The court says even though the marriage is still valid, he is guilty" of rape, Mr Ram told AFP, adding he would appeal the verdict.

Riduan was also sentenced to a fine and two strokes of the cane. The court deferred the sentence pending appeal.

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