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3. Will I be excused if I do not have any corrupt motive when taking an unmarried girl under 18 against the will of her parents?

Yes. Section 127 requires the taking to be with the intention the girl shall have sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man. That is the required corrupt motive or mens rea (guilty mind). There must be the sexual intercourse motive. If the prosecution cannot prove that was the defandant’s purpose at the time of the taking, the defendant must not be found guilty.

 

For example, persuading a girl under 18 years of age to leave her parents because of violence she has received from a parent is not within section 127. The purpose is to remove the girl from an abusive parent and not for the purpose of her having sexual intercourse with men or a particular man. In this situation there is an evidential burden upon the defendant to raise and support the non-corrupt purpose. The prosecution will then have to negative the claimed non-corrupt purpose by proving that the removal was for purpose of the girl having sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man.

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