QCOSTARICA — Getting a minor pregnant would be considered an aggravating factor in the crime of sexual abuse, and would be punishable by up to eight years in prison, according to a project presented by legislator Gloria Navas of the Partido Nueva República (PNR).
Currently, the law only punishes sexual abuse and does not punish rapists who impregnate a minor, regardless of the fact that this situation changes the lives of the victims.
The bill arises from the case of baby Keibril Amira García Amador, in April of this year when a baby disappeared in Cervantes de Cartago and her mother was barely 13 years old, who was sexually abused by her stepfather, whose last name was Casasola.
The man kidnapped the baby, while the baby’s mother was walking on a public street, in Cervantes de Cartago. The baby continues missing.
Authorities believe that Casasola kidnapped the baby to prevent a DNA test from being performed to confirm paternity. Although the baby disappeared, an exam later confirmed that Casasola, who is currently in preventive detention (remand) is the father of the baby.
The legislator, also the president of the Security and Drug Trafficking Commission, which is why she seeks to ensure improvements in Costa Rican criminal legislation, called the legislative bill “Ley Keibril” (Keibril Law).
“She, evidently due to the age at which she became pregnant, was a minor. If the man approaches her and impregnates her, the crime of rape is committed; That young girl was raped,” Navas lashed out.
In addition to the eight-year sentence for the pregnancy, Navas incorporated into the law a proposal for the sentence to be one to six years in prison when, as a result of sexual relations with a person under 18 years of age, contagion of venereal disease occurs.
Likewise, the parents or guardians of the minor who do not notify the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) – child welfare agency – about the pregnancy status of their daughter, under 18 years of age, will face a prison sentence of one to three years.
Additionally, the initiative aims for the PANI and the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) to be able to act ex officio once it is proven that a minor is pregnant. That is, they would be obliged to immediately inform the judicial authorities so that the respective process can begin.
“We must avoid heartbreaking cases like those of baby Keibril in the history of our country, and guarantee girls who have been victims of sexual abuse that both they and their children will get proper support during the process,” Navas said in conclusion.
The bill enters the Congress agenda. From November to the end of January, the Executive Branch manages the agenda of the deputies, so their progress in that period will depend on the Government’s call for extraordinary sessions.