EFREMOV, Russia – A nineteen-year-old young man has been sentenced to three years in jail for impregnating a young girl who he subsequently married, and who gave birth to their daughter this January.
The couple is from a provincial town called Efremov, about 250 miles from Moscow. The boy, Zhenya, started dating Katya, the girl, about a year and a half ago, when last summer she told him she was four months pregnant. She also told him that she was not 17, as she had originally said, but 14.
Still, the two were in love and told their parents that they wanted to get married and raise the child. The parents agreed and the couple was married in January, two weeks before the birth of their daughter.
They moved into his one-bedroom apartment and began their life together, until the police contacted Zhenya. He was charged with having sex with a person under the age of 16, convicted and sentenced to three years and one month in jail.
Zhenya, who is appealing the sentence, is now in jail. RussiaDaily.com reports that Katya goes to visit him almost everyday but the police will not allow him to see her or his child, and that Katya cannot breastfeed the baby anymore due to stress over the loss of her husband.
According to Aleksey Golovan, a Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Moscow, a discrepancy between family and criminal codes has caused the situtation. In Russia, adults can marry underaged individuals with the permission of the parents, but cannot have sex with that same underage individual.
“On the one hand, the girl was allowed to get married. On the other hand, [the] law forbids sexual relations with a person under 16,” Golovan said, adding, “In this particular case, special circumstances should have been taken into account.”