Syrian migrant accused of getting 8-year-old daughter-in-law pregnant

Prosecutors in Belgium are asking for 10 years in prison for a Syrian migrant accused of sexually abusing his eight-year-old daughter-in-law and leaving her pregnant as a result of the abuse.

The 27-year-old is said to have raped the young girl between January and March last year in the Belgian community of Doische, a small town on the border with France.

Commenting on the case, the Namur public prosecutor said: “We were informed of this pregnancy” and added: “Further medical examinations made it possible to date the pregnancy to the eighth week. It was decided to carry out a therapeutic voluntary abortion because, due to her age, she would not have been able to carry it out without endangering her own life.” La Dernière Heure reports.

Investigators say the girl initially tried to claim she was pregnant by a 16-year-old boy, but prosecutors suspected the father-in-law and DNA tests were taken and matched those of the suspect.

The Syrian man admitted in court on Wednesday that he had had sexual relations with the young girl, claiming it was the first time he had drunk alcohol and could not control himself.

He also blamed the victim, explaining, “She’s eight years old, but in her mind she’s older than that. She got on my lap and kissed me and then asked me for this relationship.”

The man’s lawyer also called for leniency in the case, stating: “In his country, young girls can get married as young as 13. As a result of the acts committed, there was a sensitization. He wants to conform to our laws and live the Belgian way.”

Similar defense strategies invoking cultural differences have been employed in the past by migrants accused of child sexual abuse, including in France last year when a migrant accused of raping his daughter said he did not know that sexual relations with family members are illegal in the country.

In 2018, a Syrian migrant accused of twice raping a 12-year-old girl in Sweden also claimed ignorance of the law, saying he didn’t know sex with young girls was illegal.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by email to ctomlinson(at)

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