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Seven suspected rapists released because victims looked older

Dec. 17, 2013 at 8:31 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Turkish court released seven men suspected of raping two underage girls because the men said the girls appeared to be older.

Ten men are on trial in an Ankara court for allegedly raping two girls -- aged 12 and 14 -- 13 times, Middle East Online, MENA, reported Monday.

One of the suspects said the two girls lied about their age at the time of intercourse in January.

"One of them looked 19 or 20 years old, the other looked like she was 22 or 23," one suspect told the court.

"They lied to us about their age," another said.

Testimony also revealed the girls alleged consented to intercourse, but prosecutors said that consent "has no legal meaning" because they were under 15 years old.

The court determined the 14-year-old girl looked between 17 and 18 years old and released seven of the suspects for the duration of the trial, MENA reported.

The age of consent in Turkey is 18 years old.

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