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Oct 26, 2004

Cayo man arrested for carnal knowledge

A concerned caller who used the 922 Crimestoppers hotline to voice his concerns has led police in Cayo to solve two crimes in one. According to authorities, the complainant informed them that two children, one of them a fourteen year old were being neglected by their parents in a village in the Cayo District. When police showed up to investigate the reports, they found that not only was it true that the children were being neglected, but that the fourteen year old girl was living with and having intimate relations with a man from the same village. Twenty one year old Roque Ortega has since been arrested and charged for the crime of Carnal Knowledge. While police believe that the girl’s parents may have consented to the union, under Belizean law, the age of consent is sixteen years old. Police say the fourteen-year-old girl had been living with Ortega since last December and had gotten pregnant but miscarried half way through the pregnancy. Late this evening, police informed us that a medical officer has confirmed that the second child, a twelve-year-old girl, has also been sexually active, but it is not believed that Ortega is the perpetrator. The Human Development Department has been called in to investigate and News 5 understands that while the children have been placed back into the custody of their parents, a stern reprimand has been issued to them to improve their parenting or face the consequences, which is arrest on a charge of procuration. Under the law, that charge could be brought against anyone who allows or assists in children being sexually abused.

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