PARAMARIBO--Dutch rappers Kaene Marica, Francis Edusei and Jacky Osei, who were arrested in Suriname in December last year for sexual misconduct, received mild sentences on Thursday that will allow them to return to the Netherlands. Edusei (Frenna) and Osei (Priceless) were each sentenced to twelve months in prison, of which 9.5 months are conditional. Marica was sentenced to six months, four of which are conditional.

The rappers, members of the rap group Strictly Family Business (SFB) from The Hague, were arrested on December 29 after a year-end performance in Paramaribo, on charges of having sex with a 15-year-old girl and for sharing video footage of their sexual misconduct on social media. Marica, whose stage name is KM, immediately confessed, arguing that he did not know the girl was 15 and that he himself was 17 at the time. He has also said that the two other rappers did not take part in the sexual encounter.

Marica had been released from pre-detention since Thursday, March 1; judge Siegline Wijnhard had taken into consideration that he was barely older than the “victim” and a minor himself at the time, which rendered their sexual encounter less than a crime. Edusei and Osei are 29 and 31, respectively, which does make their involvement sexual misconduct. They thus stayed in pre-detention until Thursday.

The Prosecutor had demanded a sentence of 1.5 years for all three of the men, one year of which is conditional, with a three-year probation period.

The case had caused quite some commotion in Suriname and in the Netherlands, where the rappers enjoy somewhat of a celebrity status. The brouhaha prompted the girl’s mother to withdraw her initial accusations against the rappers and the girl herself also spoke out against the arrests, explaining that “the sex had been consensual and I want everything to be aborted, because this can head in the wrong direction.”

The judicial system refused to buckle under the pressure, pointing out that even while the sex was consensual and the victim withdrew the accusations, it still concerned sex with an underage girl and the dissemination of the video footage, which is considered (child) pornography.

Many people also openly expressed their disdain with the rappers, pointing out their perceived invisibility and their apparent lack of sense for boasting about the sexual encounter online and then returning to the country they committed the crime in without expecting repercussions.

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