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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Imam charged over marriage of 12 year old girl

Riaz Tasawar

Police have charged Pakistan-born imam Riaz Tasawar for performing the unlawful marriage ceremony - not recognised by Australian law - between a 26 year old man and a 12 year old girl.

The Muslim community is denying all knowledge of the marriage and say they are shocked, yet marriages like this one are going on all over Sydney, according to the Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward.

Police allege Tasawar performed the mock marriage ceremony in the living room of her parents home in the Hunter region on 12 January 2014.

An Islamic spokesman said the imam conducted the marriage in secret, without the knowledge of the mosque's governing body - the Islamic Centre of Newcastle.  The Centre's President, who didn't want to give his name, said Tasawar's employment was terminated immediately from the mosque where he has been resident imam for four years.

The 26 year old student

The 26 year old student arrived in Australia last year to further his education and is sponsored by the Islamic Centre of Newcastle.

It has been reported that the girl's father, who allowed the marriage to proceed, is an Islamic convert.

Edit 12 February 2014 at 2 pm.  The man responsible for allowing his child to enter into a marriage with an older man has finally been held to account.   The 61 year old was arrested at his home at Raymond Terrace this  He is charged with procuring a child under 14 years for illegal sexual activity, and being an accessory. He was refused bail and will appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court today.  Police say investigations are continuing.

And now the socalled husband.

Edit 7.3.2015:  The 27-year-old man was sentenced to a maximum jail term of 10 years with a non-parole period of seven and a half years in the Downing Centre District Court today.

The pair “married” in an Islamic ceremony in the girl’s living room in the Hunter region last January and the man later pleaded guilty to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child.