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1. Unlawful Sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 years’ of age

Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 years’ of age is an offence contrary to section 123 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200). The maximum punishment is life imprisonment. Section 123 offences are more serious than section 124 offences, which deals with girls under 16 years’ of age, because of the younger age of the girl.

 

For offences where “sexual intercourse” needs to be proved, it is not necessary to prove ejaculation. The offence is complete upon proof of penetration of the vagina by the penis.

 

The offence is complete upon proof of sexual intercourse with a girl and proof that at the time of the sexual intercourse the girl was under 13 years of age. The fact that the girl consented and/or that the defendant believed the girl was over 13 years’ of age are not defences to this charge. The offence is an absolute liability offence. The objective of the legislation is the protection of girls under 13 years of age. The emphasis is upon deterrence. Belief that the girl was over 13 and/or her consent to sexual intercourse may however be relevant to sentence, though the relevance may not be significant because of the emphasis upon the protection of extremely young girls.

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