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Malaysia – Another statutory rape has ended with the perpetrator walking free

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KUALA LUMPUR ― A man convicted of raping his 12-year-old girlfriend has eluded incarceration, the second recent case of statutory rape that has ended with the perpetrator walking free,

The Star reported on its website today. According to the report, 22-year-old Chuah Guan Jiu was released on a three-year, RM25,000 good behaviour bond by the Sessions Court in George Town, Penang.

“We also considered the fact that the sexual act was consensual and that he is a school dropout,” judge Sitarun Nisa Abdul Aziz was quoted as saying by The Star. Sitarun expanded on her decision by saying she also took in account that this was Chuah’s first offence.

She further said she was considering his future. Previously, prosecutors described how Chuah had played sick in order to get the victim into playing truant and lure her into attending to him at his home. “They were dating and the accused should have protected her but he took advantage of her instead,” DPP Lim Cheah Yit had told the court on Monday, in an effort to secure a harsh sentence for Chuah.

On July 20, the Session Court had found Chuah guilty of two counts of statutory rape, which took place in Air Itam on July 18 last year. Chuah’s conviction meant he was liable for up to 20 years’ imprisonment and whipping for each count, as allowed under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code.

The decision is likely to further stoke existing public outrage following the case of national bowler Noor Afizal Azizan — convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl — who was let off from serving jail time after a Court of Appeal decision reversed an earlier High Court ruling and bound him over for good behaviour.

In explaining its decision, the appellate court reasoned that a lengthy jail sentence would have been imposed on national bowler Noor Afizal Azizan for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl when he was 19 if he had been older or had used force, coercion or violence.

The court said, however, that its decision should not be considered a precedent for all future cases involving statutory rape and should be judged on its own merits.

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