Teenager charged with sex offence loses discrimination challenge

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A male teenager charged with having sex with a 14 year old girl in Donegal has lost a High Court challenge to try stop the trial on grounds of gender discrimination.
He’s been charged under the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act which was hastily passed by the Oireachtas in 2006 after the Supreme Court struck down the 1935 law on statutory rape.
In this case a boy was charged under the Act with having sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl in Donegal in August 2006. He was 15 at the time
His lawyers argued the legislation assumes the boy is the ‘guilty party’ while it patronises girls as comely maidens whose virtue must be protected.
In her judgment Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne has upheld the 2006 Act.
She finds the gender discrimination is legitimate as the adverse conseqences that flow from under age sexual activity fall to a greater extent on girls than boys due to the risk of pregnancy


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