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Conviction rate remains zero after 'forced' marriage charges reduced
by Tessa Akerman
The commonwealth's conviction rate for forced marriage offences remains at zero after a Melbourne man who married a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Mohammad Shakir, 34, was originally charged with being a party to a forced marriage and sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16.
The two charges were yesterday withdrawn and Shakir pleaded guilty to going through with a form or ceremony of marriage with a person not of marriageable age, an offence under the Marriage Act. The new charge carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.
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