Minister Balderamos- Garcia Urges Parental Accountability in Teen Assault Case in Toledo

Minister Balderamos- Garcia Urges Parental Accountability in Teen Assault Case in Toledo

Minister Balderamos-Garcia also spoke on the case where a 14-year-old girl was beaten by her 18-year-old boyfriend in Bella Vista Village, Toledo.  In cases such as this, the minister says the parents need to be held accountable.

Dolores Balderamos Garica, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs: “Let me respond to the particular case. This is one of a 14-year-old girl who does not have the age of consent with an 18-year-old young man. It is a crime that has been committed and to make it even worse is physical violence, you know? Not only the sexual abuse but also physical violence. So again we have to hold perpetrators accountable. I would say though that an 18 year old guy, it’s a little bit different than a 50 year old teacher. So you may have some mitigating circumstances there. However, I want to mention that recently the Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered charges in a different case of a 14 year old girl who is pregnant at the moment. I think she’s soon to have baby and we had to remove her from the guy that she was living with in San Pedro. But the parents allowed the 14-year-old to go and live with the guy in San Pedro and it is possible that some money was being sent to the parents. Now, if that is the case, please I don’t want to say something that is not so, but if that was the case there would be elements of trafficking in persons there and exploitation. But I want to mention that the DPP herself is taking these cases very seriously and the charges apparently have been laid not only on the guy, who is the baby father, but also on the parents, both the mother and the father who allowed that 14-year-old to go and live with somebody. Because a 14-year-old, again, is a child and we have to treat that as such and make sure that we hold parents, guardians, and perpetrators accountable. I think that is the message today.”

Similar cases of rape have been reported in San Pedro Town and other parts of the Belize District.

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