A 16 year-old girl has been sentenced to100 lashes, which she will face when she turns 18, by a Maldivian court for having sex.
The Hulhudhufaaru Magistrate Court in Raa Atoll also sentenced a 29 year-old man to 10 years imprisonment, after it found him guilty of having sex with the minor girl.
As she is a legally a minor, the court stated that the girl's sentence would be implemented when she turned 18, the Minivan News reported.
An official told the local media that the man travelled to the island after the girl invited him. The the girl's family noticed that she was not at home and went looking for her, the official said.
The pair were found that night in some bushes behind the island's power house, he added.
The court official said the the girl's family pressed charges, which were denied by the man. However the girl confessed, local press reported.
The man was sentenced under the Child Sex Abuse (Special Provisions) Act which states that if a person touches a minor with the intention of having sex, then it is a punishable crime. A person found guilty of such a crime can be sentenced to a term of 10-14 years in prison.
According to statistics revealed by the Gender Department in April this year, between December 2010 and October 2011, 1,138 cases of child abuse were reported from atoll family and children service centres. 1,005 of these cases involved minors while 133 of these cases involved victims aged older than 18, the report said.