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Stephen Troy Kendrick Life Imprisonment For Teen Impregnation

A thirty-four-year-old man, Stephen Troy Kendrick, was found guilty by Fulton County jurors of the statutory rape, aggravated child molestation, and other crimes against a thirteen-year-old girl, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As a result, Kendrick received a sentence of life, plus two years.

The incident leading to the conviction is complicated. Essentially, though, Kendrick had been a boarder in a house, where he got close to the family’s daughter, and continued seeing her even after the parents told him to stay away. Later, after he moved out, he was discovered sleeping with the girl a unit at the Cypress Glen Apartments on Godby Road.

At the time, Stephen Troy Kendrick alleged that the girl was his eighteen-year-old cousin. As if that makes it better.

The reality was that the girl was thirteen, and she had run away from home, and was pregnant with Kendrick’s child to boot.

Even if Kendrick had tried to address the statutory rape issue with an attempted marriage, he would have probably still run into problems. The Georgia Code, Title 19, Section 19-3-2 states that to be able to contract a marriage a person must be:

  • i) Of sound mind
  • ii) Be at least 16 with parental consent or 18 without parental consent and
  • iii) Not be related to the prospective spouse by blood or marriage.

But one part of Section 19-3-2 seems to carve out an exception that, seemingly, would allow marriages of younger age than sixteen. This part reads:

“However, the age limitations contained in this paragraph shall not apply upon proof of pregnancy on the part of the female or in instances in which both applicants are the parents of a living child born out of wedlock, in which case the parties may contract marriage regardless of age.”

In other words, if a girl is pregnant, or if both the girl and the boy are parents of a child born out of wedlock, then they may be less than 16-years-old and still get married in Georgia.

In the case of Stephen Troy Kendrick, the missing element was parental consent. So even though he and the teenager had a child, because they didn’t have parental consent to “marry,” he ended up being considered a criminal.

For more information on parental consent to marry please see below.

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