UN agency criticizes Brazilian court's rape ruling

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SAO PAULO (AP) -- A United Nations agency says it is deplorable that Brazil's top appeals court has ruled that sex with a 12-year-old does not necessarily constitute statutory rape.

The head of the U.N. refugee agency's office for South America says in a Thursday statement that, in his words, the "sexual life of a child cannot be used to revoke its rights."

Amerigo Incalcaterra says the decision by Brazil's Superior Court of Justice creates a dangerous precedent and discriminates against victims.

The court ruled last week that a man accused of having sex with three 12-year-olds couldn't be convicted of rape because of extenuating circumstances, including the fact that the girls had previously worked as prostitutes.