A Muslim man in Australia has pleaded guilty to marrying a 14-year-old girl in a public ceremony in his local mosque.
Mohammad Shakir, 34, was married to the unnamed girl in Melbourne by a prominent local imam.
Shakir was initially charged with having sex with the underage girl, but the charges were dropped by prosecutors as part of the plea bargain Daily Mail Australia reported.
He was instead charged with marrying a person not of marriageable age, a crime which carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.
The 14-year-old girl is in a “fragile state” and has “ongoing health issues”, prosecutor Ranjani Padmanabhan told Melbourne Magistrates Court at an earlier hearing.
The wedding ceremony was allegedly conducted at Noble Park Mosque by former prominent iman Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, who is also facing charges related to illegal marriage.
He was fired after being arrested and faces a court hearing in May.