Australia: Villawood detainee to plead guilty to ‘marrying’ girl, 12 – and there are more cases

A dozen suspected cases of underage marriage have been reported in NSW alone since July

A dozen suspected cases of underage marriage have been reported in NSW alone since July

A Villawood detention centre detainee will plead guilty to “marrying”, and having a sexual relationship with, a 12-year-old girl, a Sydney court heard on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Lebanese was visiting Australia on a student visa when he “married” the underage girl during an Islamic ceremony in the Hunter Valley in January.

Child abuse detectives said the man was “shocked” when he was charged with 25 counts of having sexual intercourse with a child aged under 14 between January 1 and February 4 this year…

Related: Child protection hotline reports 12 cases of suspected child brides in just three months

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