Morocco Hands 30-Year Sentence to Imam for Sexual Assault of Minors

Rabat – The Court of Appeal of Tangier, Morocco sentenced an imam on Thursday to 30 years in jail for sexual assault of minors.

The judiciary had accused the man not only of sexual assault but also of violence.

The court reached the decision after listening to several witnesses’ testimony.  

Authorities first arrested the imam in September 2020 following families’ complaints.

The Royal Gendarmerie of Tangier arrested the religious official in the region of Fahs-Anjra, near Tangier.

The imam assaulted six victims in total, according to the Royal Gendarmerie’s investigation.

Morocco’s authorities placed the imam in custody for further investigation into the sexual assault case.

The penal code criminalizes sexual assault against minors in Morocco.

Many activists have called for even stricter sentences for such crimes.

According to Article 485 of the penal code, a person who is involved in a violent assault against a minor under the age of 18 faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Read also: Rape Survivors in Morocco Struggle to Balance Trauma, Social Taboos

In addition to the case of the imam, several incidents of sexual assault against minors have recently emerged in Morocco. 

In February 2021, a similar case of sexual assault took place in El Kelaa des Sraghna, 320 kilometers from Rabat, where police arrested a 44-year-old primary school teacher for sexually harassing eight of his female students.

Another incident happened last year when a 24-year-old man abducted, raped, and murdered an 11-year old boy in Tangier. The incident sparked a public outcry.

The court sentenced the 24-year-old to the death penalty. 



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