An underage sex case in which an 18-year-old boy is being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl has led a judge to wonder why “only the boy” is being charged.
Judge Paul Muscat heard that the boy had allegedly been under the age of 18 when he had started dating the 15-year-old girl. Even after the boy turned 18, the couple had allegedly continued engaging in consensual sex.
Eventually, the boy broke up with the girl and, as Muscat described, the girl “clearly became upset at that.” The girl’s mother found out that the young couple had been having sex, and notified the police.
Muscat went on to say that the situation seemed to be a “pretty obvious case of boyfriend/girlfriend situation which he eventually calls off and she’s upset by it and one thing leads to another.”
The boy has pled guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 17.
The boy's lawyer, however, told court that the boy had been under the age of 18 when the couple was having sex.
In response, Muscat said that if the boy was, in fact, under the age of 18, “then she is as guilty as he is for engaging in those accounts of intercourse with him.”
“If that was so, if he was 17 and she was 15 and this actively was brought to the attention of the police, in her own statement of what happened…she would have to be charged along with him,” Muscat added.
He noted that such an outcome was something he had “never seen…in the youth court and I always wondered why only the boy is charged.”
If the boy was under the age of 18 while the couple was having sex, Muscat said that the girl “would have to accept responsibilities for her own actions.”
Although Muscat noted that a custodial term is “quite often…the only sentence that a court can impose for an adult having sex with a child,” he noted that he did not see the facts of this case as warranting a custodial term against the boy.
Ultimately, Muscat decided that, “it’s one of those cases where I think I can exercise my discretion to discharge him with a simple bond without a conviction.”