Three men accused separately of having sex with three under-aged girls have been committed to stand trial in the May Criminal Assizes.
This means that the magistrate, Ngaio Emanuel, found there is sufficient evidence at this stage to warrant a trial before a judge and jury.
None of the men can be named unless convicted; but what can be disclosed at this time is that one of them is accused of 11 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge, serious indecency and assault of a 12 years old girl in 2017 at Liberta.
Another man is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl in January at All Saints, and the third man allegedly had sex with another 15-year-old girl between June 1 and 30, last year.
All three matters were dealt with in the All Saints Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
In Antigua and Barbuda, consent to sex is acceptable from age 16 upwards. If anyone has sex with a girl under 16 but over 14 years, the punishment is a maximum of 15 years in prison. But if the girl is under 14, the maximum penalty is life in prison. (Martina Johnson)