Kenyan judge wants sex among teenagers decriminalised - International | NTV

Kenyan judge wants sex among teenagers decriminalised

Sunday June 30, 2019

 

A judge has called for the decriminalization of sex among teenagers, stating that in her view, they are children behaving badly as opposed to committing an offence.


Making her views when she appeared before the eleven-member panel of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Justice Jessie Lesiit said such teenagers need to be counselled and not taken to court. The JSC is recruiting Court of Appeal judges.


Justice Lesiit, who is also the presiding judge of the Criminal Division of the High Court, said in most cases, it is the boy who suffers as the girl becomes the complainant.


“If it is among adolescents, with an age difference of may be two years, such cases should not find their way to courts. We should handle them as children. I look at it as children behaving badly. In such cases, there is no consent,” she said.

Justice Lesiit, who has been a judge for 16-and-a-half years, said she was happy the Supreme Court declared mandatory death sentence unconstitutional.

Justice Luka Kimaru, another judge of the Criminal Division of the High Court, told the JSC that he was worried that persons convicted under the Sexual Offences Act would soon surpass other offences.


“Yes the number is growing at an alarming rate,” he said, supporting sentiments by Justice Lesiit that oftentimes, girls are forced to become complainants by their parents.


Recently, a bench of three judges of the Court of Appeal suggested what they termed “a candid national conversation on this sensitive yet important issue implicating the challenges of maturing, morality, autonomy, protection of children and the need for proportionality is long overdue”.