The criminal court has commenced hearings in the trial of Ismail Hammadh - charged with marrying and raping a 13-year-old child.
Hammadh has been charged with sexual assault of a minor after the case of his 13-year-old child "bride" from Madduvari island of Raa atoll emerged in November last year.
While the preliminary hearing in the trial was held on Thursday, the criminal court stated that the trial will have closed-door hearings as the case involves a child sex abuse victim.
As the law clearly states the repercussions of “touching a minor with sexual intentions”, the child rapist stands to face a jail term between 10 – 14 years.
Other charges are also expected to be raised against Hammaadh, including rape charges.
The issue of the 13-year-old child bride came into the spotlight after Hammaadh was attacked on a sea-cucumber fishing boat outside of Maalhos island in Alif Alif atoll on November 21. While he was hospitalized until 30 November, he was arrested upon discharge regarding the 13-year-old child bride’s case. While the child is has given birth since, DNA tests have proven that the child is Hammaadh’s.
The attack on Hammaadh is to have been caused by a “disagreement” with his crewmates, and Ismail Asif, 30, has since been arrested and remanded in connection to the attack.