UK: Call to close teenage sex ‘loophole’ for faith leaders and coaches

UK children

Source: The Guardian

By , North of England correspondent

Report says law fails to prevent supervising adults from having sex with 16- and 17-year-olds

A cross-party group of MPs has called for a change in the law that allows adults in positions of trust, from sports coaches to faith leaders, to legally have sex with children aged 16 and 17 in their care.

At present, the law allows only for adults in certain jobs to be prosecuted, such as teachers and social workers. Roles that fall outside this definition of “position of trust” include private tutors, driving instructors and coaches in after-school clubs, as well as vicars, imams and other religious leaders.

report published by a cross-party group of MPs called for this “legal loophole” to be closed.

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham who chaired an all-party parliamentary group on the issue, said: “It makes no sense that young people should be protected from grooming and sexual abuse at school but not at their church or football club.

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