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Man pleads not guilty to raping underage girlfriend; gets earful from judge

PETRA JAYA: An unemployed man charged with raping his underage girlfriend received an earful from a Sessions Court judge when the case was called for sentencing today.
In the same Court here yesterday, Norman Ali had pleaded guilty to raping his girlfriend, who is now 17, in Jalan Matang near here between January and February last year.
The accused, who was unrepresented, however, decided to change his plea when he was produced before Judge Afidah Abdul Rahman today.
“I am not guilty. She (victim) is my girlfriend,” said the accused.
His reason for claiming trial to the charge under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code for statutory rape, however, did not go down well with Afidah, who immediately reprimanded the accused.
“This is the problem nowadays.
“Just because you are her boyfriend and she is your girlfriend, (both of) you think you can cross the line.
“Regardless whether it (sexual intercourse) is ‘suka sama suka’ (consensual) or otherwise, the victim is still a minor and you are being accused of committing statutory rape.
“You have been arrested because there has been a police report lodged against you,” she said.
The accused, who was clad in a long-sleeve t-shirt and a pair of jeans, was seen bowing his head as Afidah explained the consequences of the charge made against him.
She then ordered the accused, who has no valid identification documents, to undergo dental checks to ascertain his age pending pre-trial management for the case on Sept 26.
Hearing for the case has been fixed for three days starting Nov 1.
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