Check the marital status of your girl

24th February

Unsafe Sex in the Philippines...

Check the marital status of your Filipino girl

When David Scott fell in love with a beautiful Filipino woman, he embraced the opportunity to escape his humdrum existence as a machine operator in Swindon and begin a new life in an exotic land.

But within weeks of leaving his friends and family to join his girlfriend in her native country, his dream of happiness has vanished - to be replaced by a nightmare he could never have anticipated.

After fathering a child with Cynthia Delfino, whose separation from her estranged husband was not complete, the 35-year-old became an unwitting victim of the Philippines' harsh legal system.

He and 29-year-old Cynthia were charged with adultery and thrown into a rat-infested prison for four days.

They have now skipped bail and have gone into hiding as the country's police search for them. If they are caught, David faces seven years in jail and having his daughter taken away from him permanently.

David's ordeal began when Cynthia became pregnant with his child before she had officially separated. Adultery is illegal in the Philippines, where it can incur a seven-year jail sentence. Now, just weeks after the birth of baby Janina, Cynthia's estranged husband - who is considered the child's legal father in the Philippines - is determined to see the pair imprisoned if they do not pay him 7,000 compensation.

Now only cash, which David and Cynthia do not have, or diplomatic pressure, can save them from jail. However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office say they cannot interfere with Philippine law.

Philippines lawyer and women's and children's rights activist Katrina Legarda warned: I have to tell you the worst first. David Scott is in great danger if he stays here. The fact that he has a baby proves the adultery. The baby is not legally his. A child born in a marriage is considered legitimate to the marriage only. Legally the baby belongs to her Filipino husband. Frankly put, he does not have a child. He should go home.

Legarda continued: I know this sounds unfair but this is the law and whenever we try to change it there is an outcry from the religious groups.

This should not really be happening. We tried over 20 years ago to introduce a divorce law, but those who supported it were condemned in the pulpits of Catholic churches all over the country as people who would go to Hell.


30th December

Update: Divorced from Justice...

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Dubai adultery laws used for spouse vengeance

A British woman fighting jail in Dubai after being convicted for adultery insisted she had been wrongly accused by her ex-husband.

Marnie Pearce has been sentenced to six months in prison by an Arab court. She may lose the right to custody of her two sons after being found guilty at the end of November.

She launched an appeal on Christmas Day, backed by the Tory MP Andrew MacKay, who raised her case with the Foreign Office. Pearce cannot leave Dubai until her conviction is quashed and is desperate to leave with her sons Laith, seven, and four-year-old Ziad: I am so scared that if I go to jail I will never see them again.

In Dubai, non-Muslim adulterers cannot be punished by flogging but can face up to 18 months in prison.

The British expatriate met her Egyptian husband Ihab El-Labban in Oman in 1992. The couple married in the Seychelles, had two children and moved to Dubai, where they have lived for the last 15 years.

Pearce said the marriage had been in difficulty for some time but fell apart last year and the couple separated.  She claimed that subsequently she was falsely accused of adultery on the basis of evidence purportedly showing she had cheated on El-Labban.

Pearce then claimed that he burst into her home with several police officers in March: The police came in the front and back door with my husband who accused me of having an affair.

Pearce, who finally received her divorce decree absolute last month, said she was arrested, placed in handcuffs and interrogated by police. Nearly four months later, she claims she was told by police that they had gathered evidence - including used condoms, a man's underpants and a man's jacket. Pearce was ordered to give a DNA sample but she claims the man alleged to have been involved was never contacted and has been free to travel back and forth to Dubai ever since.

She said her husband took possession of the family home and she and her sons were forced to stay in a shelter before seeking refuge with a friend.

On November 27 Pearce was convicted of adultery and sentenced to six months in prison. She launched her appeal on December 25 and the case was adjourned until January 8.


11th June

Updated: Flirting with Repression...

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More victims of UAE ban on sex outside of marriage

A South African woman has been jailed in the United Arab Emirates for sleeping with her boss in the latest example of the country's hardline approach to sex outside marriage.

Roxanne Hillier has now been jailed for three months even though she agreed to carry out medical tests to prove there had been no sexual contact.

Roxanne Hillier was asleep in a room above the dive shop where she worked in the emirate of Sharjah when police broke down the locked door and arrested her.

They claimed she was having an affair with her boss, an Emirati, who was downstairs at the time repairing the shop's dive equipment. She was also accused of being alone in the same room with him, also technically a crime in Sharjah.

Her father, Freddie Hillier, said police records showed the raid was ordered after someone rang them to say her boss was using the room above the shop to have sex with foreign women: We believe it was aimed at the boss of the place. My daughter was caught in the crossfire.

Hillier said his daughter's big mistake was to sign a confession in Arabic that she did not understand: They were shouting at her in Arabic. She was scared and made the mistake of bowing to pressure. She thought that was going to get her off.

She was brought before a court on May 22 for a fifteen-minute hearing conducted in Arabic. Last week, she was brought before the court again to be told briefly that she had been found guilty and sentenced to three months' jail. Her boss was sentenced to six months.

An appeal in the case is due to be heard on Sunday.

Update: South African

Thanks to Freddie who pointed out that Roxanne is South African, not British as widely reported.


23rd June

Updated: Unappealing UAE...

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UAE compounds adultery injustice as man is freed whilst woman loses appeal and remains in jail

The woman recently sentenced to three months in jail in the United Arab Emirates on sex-related charges has lost her appeal against the sentence.

But, in a strange twist, the man Roxanne Hillier was alleged to have had sex with, and who had also been sentenced on these charges, has been released from jail.

As far as we understand, there is no other way that we can take this further in court. But we are exploring other options, Maxine Hillier said shortly after her sister's appeal was heard on Monday.

Hillier, 22, a dive instructor, had been fighting for her freedom since her arrest just more than a month ago. She and the owner of the centre were arrested during a police raid on May 16. She was later found guilty of being alone in a room with a man to whom she was not related, and of engaging in sex out of wedlock.

Her boss, a UAE citizen who is married with children, was sentenced to six months' jail and Hillier to three months.

Hillier's family unsurprisingly insisted the charges were trumped up and that foul play was involved. Strangely the authorities have listed Hillier as muslim when she is in fact christian. They said she had been working late the day of her arrest and had decided to sleep in a locked guest room at the dive centre, while her boss was working in another room. Her father Freddie said the police had forced their way into the centre and broke down Hillier's door.

Maxine Hillier said her family was battling to accept the appeal decision: The family is taking it badly. My sister and my mother are taking a lot of strain . However, they were still hoping to use the release of Hillier's boss to help her sister.


12th June

Update: US Morality Police...

New York State police charge woman with adultery

Suzanne Corona faces prosecution under the rarely used adultery laws after she was caught with Justin Amend.

The pair were arrested on suspicion of having sex on a picnic table in a park in the small upstate New York town of Batavia.

They were charged with public lewdness but Corona was also maliciously hit with an additional charge of adultery because the arresting officer said he knew she was married. Amend was not charged with adultery because he said he did not know Corona was married.

Under a law enacted during the early 1900s, adultery is a criminal offence punishable by a fine and prison sentence. The law has rarely been used but remains on the statute books of ten U.S. states. Section 255.17 of the New York State penal law states: A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse. It is now considered a Class B misdemeanour and is punishable by a £350 fine and 90 days in jail. adultery story

Legal experts said Corona was only the 13th person in New York in the past 40 years to be charged with adultery.

Corona and Amend were spotted by police sitting on a picnic table in full view of people in the park. When officer Matthew Baldwin approached the couple, they insisted they were just talking . Corona was fully clothed but Amend's shirt was off and his trousers were unbuttoned as Corona sat on his lap.

Corona denied they were having sex and said they had chosen a picnic table out of the view of others in the park. She later made a brief appearance at Genesee County Courthouse where she arrived with her husband. Corona did not enter a plea but instead said she planned to challenge the constitutionality of the laws making adultery a crime.

Her husband of six years said he planned to stand by his wife and help her fight the adultery charges.


25th September

Update: Charleston Repents Old Sins...

West Virginia city repeals law against unmarried sex

Members of Charleston City Council decided Monday that an obscure statute in city code outlawing adultery and sex between unmarried individuals should be stricken from the books.

The council voted unanimously to repeal Chapter 78, Article V, Sec. 78-291, which labeled sex acts between unmarried people a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

There was little discussion on the matter before the vote was finalized. Mayor Danny Jones laughed at the law before casting his vote to repeal it: How did they ever put something like this on the books? the mayor said.

Councilwoman Mary Jean Davis was a cosponsor of the bill to repeal the adultery and fornication law. She only recently became aware of the law's existence. She said times have changed and the law needed to go.

But the adultery and fornication law isn't the only ordinance on the city's books that some might find outdated.

Take Chapter 78, Article V, Sec. 78-311, for example. That ordinance makes it a crime to sell, give away or possess pornography or immoral books in city limits.

It shall be unlawful for any person within the city to sell, distribute, lend, give away, exhibit or offer to sell, distribute, lend, give away, exhibit or have in his possession for any such purposes any obscene, lewd, lascivious or immoral book, magazine, pamphlet, paper, writing, advertising, picture, circular or newspaper, the code states.

Another section of Chapter 78 declares it a crime to use indecent language in public performances like plays and concerts.

Ellis said he doubts any of those provisions could ever be enforced. Davis said those sections of the code also will be reviewed.







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