Brazilian Supreme Court Rules that Sex With Children Not Necessarily a Crime

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

SAO PAULO, June 7, 2009 ( - The Brazilian Supreme Court and a lower appeals court have nullified two sentences against child sex abusers in recent months on the grounds that their behavior did not constitute a crime under Brazilian law, sparking a protest from the United Nations.

On June 23, Brazil’s Superior Tribunal of Justice (the nation’s Supreme Court for cases not involving Constitutional law) upheld the acquittal of several men who had paid two girls, 12 and 13 years of age, to have sexual intercourse with them, on the grounds that prostitution was not covered by child sex abuse statutes.

The men, one of whom has been identified as a Brazilian sports celebrity, reportedly took photos of the encounter.

Full article…

I wonder if the celebrity status of one of the defendants (or his money) influenced the courts?

Apparently Brazil has quite a problem with child prostitution. Four years ago the government began a crackdown, targeting the patrons:

[quote=San Francisco Chronicle]Across the country, local officials and workers with UNICEF are putting up posters and handing out flyers at airports and popular Carnival locales warning adult tourists that they could spend four to 10 years in prison if they have sex with anyone younger than 18.

After Thailand, Brazil has the second-largest number of underage prostitutes in the world, about 500,000, according to UNICEF.

UNICEF Child Protection Officer Alison Sutton lauded Brazil for being “reasonably well mobilized” in combating child prostitution, but she criticized a lack of coordination at the federal level, red tape and, most important, a lack of enforcement.

“That’s one of the sad difficulties in Brazil,” she said. “You have good laws, but when it comes to implementation, you have a serious problem with impunity.”

I guess impunity is still a problem there. :(:(:frowning:

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