The Director of Colombia’s Family Welfare Unit on Tuesday said that a case will be brought against the father of a kidnapped and rescued baby if the mother indeed became pregnant at age 13.
According to local media, the mother of the baby, which is now safely back in her arms, is 15 years old. It is possible that she conceived the baby while below Colombia’s legal age of consent which is 14.
“If she was 13, there was a crime, specifically sexual abuse,” said Diego Molano, Director of the National Family Welfare Unit — Bienestar Familiar.
The kidnapped baby was headline news in Colombia and after the rescue, Colombia’s top police officer offered to become the baby’s godfather.
Molano acknowledged that it was ironic that the father of the baby was now under investigation while a court has decided the kidnapper can go free. A judge ruled that the kidnapper, who reportedly was afraid to tell her husband that she had recently miscarried and resorted to kidnapping, was not a danger to society. Nevertheless, Molana was eager to send a message to Colombian society that sexual relations with children under 14 are a criminal offense punishable by prison.
“We can not remain silent. A girl should be studying and enjoying her childhood, not raising babies,” he said.
Molano urged Colombians to come forward and report cases of underage pregnancies.
The family welfare unit announced that at least 8,664 cases of pregnancy among minors were recorded in the last two years and they know of no cases being brought against the fathers.