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June 28, 2022

Declic community: Ministry of Justice opposes amendment to law that would send children rapists to prison

We call on the Minister of Justice, Catalin Predoiu, to go out in public and explain to everyone, especially mothers and victims, this negative opinion given by his ministry

The Declic Community is demanding for public explanations on Friday from Minister of Justice Catalin Predoiu, after the ministry led by him gave a negative opinion to the draft law that classifies as rape any sexual act of an adult with a child younger than 16 years.

According to a press release from the Declic community sent to AGERPRES, the draft law comes to fix a “blatant” situation in the Romanian judiciary, namely hundreds of aggressors have been released by the courts, with minor punishments or suspended sentences, on the grounds that the victims, children aged between 11 and 12 would have agreed to have sex with adults.

In many cases, the NGO says, judges justified the release of pedophiles on the grounds that those children did not scream or tell other adults about the abuse they were subjected to.

“We call on the Minister of Justice, Catalin Predoiu, to go out in public and explain to everyone, especially mothers and victims, this negative opinion given by his ministry. How can the Ministry of Justice claim that the amendment of the Criminal Code is excessive and disproportionate? How do the leaders in Justice believe that a child in a state of shock can understand what is happening to him and can agree? How can the silence caused by the shock of aggression be considered agreement, as we have seen in so many pieces of reasoning? The ministry pretends not to see that 80 percent of the cases in which sexual assaults were reported against minors have been closed, and the culprits have escaped unpunished,” Denisa Soare, Declic campaigner, was quoted as saying in the release.

Moreover, according to the cited source, there is even an official report of the Judicial Inspection which found the non-unitary practice of judges and that there are magistrates in Romania “who ignore the shock, trauma and the enormous pressure to which a child abused by an adult is subjected – especially by someone he or she trusts and who should protect him/her.”

Declic reminds Minister Catalin Predoiu that even the ECHR has put Romania under surveillance because of the way in which the authorities failed to protect minors from sexual aggressors.

“We are worried about the negative opinion, especially since the senators from the Legal Committee are going to vote next week on the amendment of the Criminal Code,” added Denisa Soare.

“Romania is the only country in Europe that does not have a consent law. That is, there is no age at which any sexual act of an adult with a minor is considered rape. Judicial practice in recent years shows that in Romania sexual assaulting a minor can be classified as a consensual sexual act, regardless of the victim’s age. The files are closed or the aggressors receive mild convictions. This is how Romania ranks first in the European Union in the number of sexually abused children and the number of trafficked minors,” Declic mentions.

The Declic community maintains that it supports the amendment of the criminal law, in the sense that any sexual act of an adult with a minor under 16 years of age should be considered rape, with almost 100,000 members of the Declic Community signing for this demarche.

“As many as 3 out of 4 cases of sexual acts with child victims are tried in Romanian courts as consensual acts. Out of 18,549 cases in which sexual assaults against minors were reported, prosecutors closed 80 percent in the 2014-2020 period,” the press release further mentions.


Photo: www.just.ro

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