Man on child bride sex charges to remain in custody

A man accused of having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old child "bride" will remain in custody after he decided not to apply for his release on Wednesday, a Sydney court has heard.

The 26-year-old Lebanese university student was charged with 25 counts of having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14 after he "married" the young girl in an illegal ceremony earlier this year.

He was expected to make a bail application before Burwood Local Court but his lawyer Fadi Abbas requested the matter be adjourned until February 24.

The adjournment of his case came a day after police arrested a Muslim religious leader who allegedly conducted the union during a ceremony in the Hunter Valley region on January 12.

Police allege the imam "married" the pair during a private ceremony at the house of the victim's father.

Child abuse detectives charged the imam with solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person.

He was granted strict conditional bail to appear before Parramatta Bail Court on April 2.

Police will allege the pair were "married" in the Hunter region and then moved to a house in south-west Sydney.

The man is accused of having sexual intercourse with the victim almost every day between January 1 and February 4.

Child abuse detectives continue to investigate and have not ruled out laying charges against the victim's father.

This story Man on child bride sex charges to remain in custody first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.