Young girl victimized by uncle-in-law for over a year, authorities investigate

Gender Ministry has launched an investigation into the case of an 11-year-old girl from central Maldives who was subjected to repeated sexual assault in the hands of her uncle-in-law for over a year.

A family member who spoke to Sun said the abuse came to their attention after the girl recently confided in her cousin brother close to her in age.

“The girl confided in her cousin brother around the middle of this month. The boy is 12 years old. He told family members and we reported the case to the police yesterday,” said the family member.

The suspect is the husband of her maternal aunt, and had lived in the same residence as the victim.

While other male relatives also reside in the house, the suspect, a civil servant, is the only male relative who resides in the island on a permanent basis.

“We went to the police and reported the case at midnight yesterday, as soon as it came to our attention. Gender [Ministry officials] have been coming here to take statements,” said the family member.

Gender Ministry confirmed the authority has received report of a sexual assault case in central Maldives, and stated that the authority is investigating the case in collaboration with the police.

The case is the latest in a string of sexual assault cases involving child victims, it comes the same day the police announced it is investigating a man accused of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old daughter, and follows the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in a guesthouse in Male’ City in late May, and the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in another guesthouse in Male’ City a little over a week later, in early June.

The suspect in the sexual assault of the 16-year-old girl, Unais Ahmed, 25, from Hiyaavahi in B. Thulhaadhoo, has been ordered to jail pending the outcome of his trial. The Prosecutor General’s Office has filed four charges against him with the Criminal Court.

Meanwhile, the suspect in the sexual assault of the 11-year-old girl, Anees Hilmy, 38, from Silsilaage in H. A. Baarah, has also been jailed pending the outcome of his trial. The Prosecutor General’s Office has yet to file charges against him.

Special Provisions Act to Deal with Child Sex Offenders sets out special provisions to deal with child sex offenders both at investigative and trial stages.

It prescribes a prison sentence of 15 to 18 years, if the person who carried out the offense is in a position of authority over the victim.