60-year-old man arrested for marrying 6-year-old girl after receiving her as a gift from her parents

Mohammad Karim 
By: Feng Qian

(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested after it was discovered that he was married to a 6-year-old girl.

60-year-old Mohammad Karim of Afghanistan, said that he married the girl after she was given to him as a gift by her parents.

“The girl was given to me as a gift and we got married so I could raise her,” Karim said.

Karim, who is a cleric, told police that he never had sex with the child, and his vow was confirmed by doctors who examined the girl after she was brought to a hospital following her rescue.

Nashafarin Shihab, who is a doctor at the hospital in Ghor where the girl was examined, said that the child did not suffer any physical or psychological harm.

The only thing the child allegedly told her rescuers is that she is “afraid of the man,” according to Masooma Anwar, head of the Provincial Department of Women's Affairs said.

The cleric said that he married the girl in front of 30 to 40 guests, including the girl’s mother and father.

However, Magannad Zeman Azami, who is the Ghor Province police commander, said that the girl’s parents strongly denied attending the wedding. They said that their daughter was kidnapped over a month ago.

They believe that the kidnapper sold the child to Karim. Police took the 6-year-old girl into custody and they will not hand over the child to her family until they determine that she is not in danger of being sold as a child bride.