(QCOSTARICA) “Sending to jail a young adult of 22 or 23 for having consensual sex with a 17 year-old male or female, seems to much, to send a young person to jail for 4 years for consensual sex(…),” said legislator Otto Guevara of the Movimiento Libertatio (ML) party.
The statement by the legislator and former (multiple) presidential candidate was made on Wednesday on the radio program, Nuestra Voz, with respect to bill 19337 “Prohibition of Improper Relations” (ley 19.337 “Prohibición de Relaciones Impropias”), currently waiting legislative approval, that establishes a prison term of four years for those who maintain a relationship with a minor with an age difference of five years or more.
If approved, for example, the new law would prohibit a 15-year-old having a relationship with a 20-year-old.
Guevara said on the radio program his opposition to the bill is that it lacks “rationality“.
The legislator says that currently “thousands of young people”, regardless if they are having sex, maintain personal relationships with minors.
In addition to causing social problems, the legislator says it will also generate a collapse in the national justice system “for all young people would be jailed”.
By way of background. The proposed law aims to punish improper relations was presented by legislator Emilia Molina, of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), aimed at prohibiting marriage of adults with minors.
Today, the law allows relationships between adults and minors 13 years of age and over if the age gap is greater than 10 years, and the adult did not take advantage of their age or brokered a payment.
In mid-July, prior to the introduction of the bill in the legislative process, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said that in Costa Rica, every 90 minutes is a bord a child to a mother between 12 and 17 years of age.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) each year 482 girls aged 14 years or under have a baby in Costa Rica.
Source: Ameliarueda.com, host of the Nuestra Voz radio program