Pakistani man who kidnapped, raped 13-y-o Christian girl is released on bail

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A court in Pakistan has released on bail a Muslim man who abducted, raped and forced a 13-year-old Christian girl into an Islamic “marriage,” based on his argument that the girl had attained puberty.

Ali Azhar, 44, was released on bail last month as he maintained he had not violated Pakistan’s laws against child marriage and child rape because the Christian girl, Arzoo Raja, had attained puberty, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported on Saturday.

If found guilty of rape, Azhar would face life in prison or a death sentence.