Uploaded on Apr 10, 2011
Authorities in the Netherlands are looking for the father of the baby delivered by a 12-year-old St. Maarten girl from Groningen last week. Indications are that it concerns a case of incest and that the baby's father, reportedly a St. Maartener, is also the girl's father.
The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Wednesday that the father of the 12-year-old Devta W. has been convicted for sexual abuse in the past. This feeds widespread suspicion that the young mother was the victim of incest.
De Telegraaf based its story on talks with family members of the girl. The father reportedly sexually abused Devta's 30-year-old sister. The father was sentenced to two years prison for that crime. "I had warned people about him," she told the newspaper.
After doing his time in jail, the father fled to St. Maarten, his country of birth, reportedly to avoid treatment in a psychiatric clinic. The man apparently returned to the Netherlands a few years ago.
Neighbours in Groningen described the 52-year-old father as an alcoholic. He was given parental responsibility over Devta after divorcing the girl's mother who is said to be from Suriname. Devta came to the Netherlands a few years ago.
The newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden reported on Wednesday afternoon that police had taken the father and Devta's brother to a nursing home in the area. "To protect them," stated a police spokesperson. The father will be heard by police about his daughter's pregnancy, but has not been charged.
Police are investigating who the father of the baby is, but the spokesperson wouldn't speculate on that. Devta, who was 11 years old when she got pregnant, has refused to say who the father of the child is. Penetrating a child under the age of 16 is punishable by Dutch law.
The girl only found out that she was pregnant during a school trip in a nature area just outside Groningen last Tuesday. She got belly aches and fell off her bike. School management called the emergency services. Ambulance personnel helped with the delivery in a nearby building.
Mother and daughter are fine and up until Wednesday evening were resting in a Groningen hospital. Both mother and baby have been handed over to Child Services. The Council for Child Protection wants to place the mother and child in a foster home, because the girl "might find herself in an unsafe situation" at home.
The Council for Child Protection has filed a complaint to police. "It is unclear whether adults have played a role in this story. That is why we have asked police to investigate the role of the adults in this case," said a spokesperson of the Council.
Nobody at school knew of Devta's pregnancy, said the school director. But a mother who helps out at school and who wanted to remain anonymous told Dagblad van het Noorden she had noticed that all was not well with Devta. She said the girl "didn't look good" and "reacted fearful when she thought someone was going to touch her."
Fellow pupils described Devta as quiet, pleasant and intelligent, albeit a bit reserved. She apparently was an avid reader of books. School friends said they hadn't noticed that Devta had grown a belly. "She always was a bit chubby. Yes she ate a bit more and became heavier in the past months, but because we saw her every day, we didn't notice," one of the friends said.
Thursday, 31 March 2011 00:50 www.thedailyherald.com ## St. Maarten girl (12) gets child, incest suspected
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