San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Court Said 9-Year-Old Mother Not Raped

DESPITE DNA tests that showManuel Lopéz is the father of his 9-yearolddaughter’s child, born in October2003, a court determined in February hewas not guilty of rape.Instead, Lopéz was sentenced to 15years in prison for two counts of sexualabuse.After evaluating the results of medicalexams that showed the girl’s hymenwas intact “without breakage,” judgesdetermined what led to the impregnationof the 9-year-old was not rape becausethere was no penetration. The publicdefender argued the sperm entered thevagina from the vulva.

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