Sydney judge grants accused student bail in Hunter Valley child bride case
A man accused of marrying and having sex with a 13-year-old girl has been granted bail by a Sydney judge.
The 26-year-old is facing 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and 14 years old.
It is alleged the man married the girl when she was 12 at a Muslim ceremony in the Hunter Valley earlier this year.
The man appeared via audio visual link in Sydney’s Burwood Local Court this morning to apply for bail.
His lawyer told the court his client has never been in trouble in his home country of Lebanon.
He said his client knows it would be enormously foolish to try to continue the relationship while the matter is before the court.
It is alleged the man met the girl while he was studying in Newcastle.
The union came to the attention of authorities after the pair moved to a unit at Guildford in Sydney’s west together.
It is understood the international student had approached Centrelink about guardianship in a bid to enrol the girl in high school.
In granting bail the judge imposed nine conditions.
They include that the man must not contact the girl or her family.
He also must live with his brother in Sydney.
The matter has been adjourned until April.
The girl’s father and the imam who allegedly performed the wedding ceremony have also been charged.