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Girl, 10, duped by father, raped by 'husband' ? report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 7 Feb 2012 11:49 AM
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NAIROBI (TrustLaw) – A 10-year-old girl told a court how she was raped by her ‘husband’ after her father lied to her that the man was taking her to school, the Daily Nation newspaper reported on Tuesday.

James Maina, 35, is accused of defilement, or rape of a child, and early marriage. He earlier defended his actions, saying he paid a bride price of $58 to the girl’s parents who live on the coast.

“I was going to school last year when my father stopped me. He told me that he wanted to transfer me to another school in Nairobi,” the girl told the court. “I thought I was being taken to a new school.”

She was taken to the man’s house in Central Province, several hours from her home.

On the third day, the man made sexual advances on the child and raped her when she turned him down, the newspaper reported.

The girl only realised she had been married off when the man started introducing her to villagers as his wife, the report said.

Child marriage is not unusual in Kenya. Some communities marry their girls off young to preserve their honour. Poverty is another factor as the parents traditionally receive a bride price.

One-third of girls in Coast Province are married before they turn 18, the legal age of marriage in Kenya, according to government statistics.

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