Girls as young as 10-years-old have been legally married to much older men due to legal loopholes that still exist in 51 USA states.
The shocking new investigation reveals court clerks and judges across the country have been quietly approving marriages between pedophiles and children.
The investigation by Frontline reveals that between 2000 and 2015 at least 207,459 minors were legally married in the United States.
While a percentage of those cases were 16- and 17-year-olds, an alarming number of states allowed children as young as 10- and 12-years-old to marry much older men.
The laws in every state allow minors to get married under certain circumstances—and pedophiles are taking advantage of these legal loopholes to marry children who are many years below the age of consent in order to avoid prosecution.
The State Health Department spreadsheet showed nearly 3,500 minors married in New Jersey between 1995 and 2012.
The investigation found that the youngest children to marry were three 10-year-old girls in Tennessee in 2001, who were married to men ages 24, 25 and 31.
The disturbing trend also impacts young boys. The youngest boy to become a child groom was just 11-years-old when he was legally married a 27-year-old woman in Tennessee in 2006.
Across the world, “15 million girls under 18 marry each year—one every two seconds,” In some countries pedophiles marrying children is an expected phenomenon.
The USA was not one of them, making it shocking that countries such as “Honduras and Malawi have tougher child marriage laws than many US states.
As Delaware makes the move to ban child marriage, many survivors of forced marriages, who have endured years of abuse at the hands of their older spouses—hope the rest of the country will follow suit.
News Punch / ABC Flash Point News 2019.