FILE PJOTO

ENOCK KADEMAUNGA writes
THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has acquitted a boy accused of defiling and impregnating his juvenile girlfriend.
This is a matter in which an 18-year-old Grade Nine pupil of Makeni, Lusaka, is facing one count of defilement.
Particulars of the offence allege that in July 2018, the
juvenile who lives in John Laing Compound had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16.
The boy pleaded guilty to the charge saying he thought the girl was above 17 years old and
that the two were in a relationship.
He told the court that the girl allowed him to have carnal knowledge of her and it only happened once.
However, the court entered an equivocal plea and the matter proceeded into trial.
During trial, the victim said her 18-year-old boyfriend threatened to report her to police if she aborted the pregnancy.
The juvenile said she was not forced into having sex.
She told the court that she did not disclose her age to the accused.
She narrated that she met the boy in 2017 when she went to fetch water.
The girl said the boy proposed love to her, and she accepted.
They started dating until July 2018 when they had sex for the first time at his house.
“It was in December 2018 when I went to draw water. I found the accused person. He proposed to me and I said yes.
“We started dating and we had sex at his house in July,” she said.
“In August I missed my menstrual period. It was when I knew that I was pregnant. I told him about it and he accepted. He said if I aborted he was going to take me to the police,” she said.
The girl said when her father found out about the pregnancy, he called for a meeting with the boy’s grandmother but she did not show up on two occasions.
The 16-year-old said her father decided to report the matter to John Laing police station and later the boy was arrested.
But in his defence, the boy said he thought the girl was above the age of 16.
He said they both consented to sex.
And when the case came up for judgment yesterday, magistrate Nsunge Chanda said the State failed to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt.
She said the State could not prove the age of the victim.
Ms Nsunge said it would be risky to convict the juvenile offender when the medical report and the under-5 card had been tampered with.
The court was therefore unable to verify the age of the victim.

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