14/08/2014 16:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

13-Year-Old Gives Birth To Triplets. Police Hunt 61-Year-Old Man

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newborn triplets asleep

A 13-year-old girl has given birth to triplets – fathered by a 61-year-old man.

The scandal has emerged from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic where the man is being hunted by authorities for sexually abusing a child.

The babies – all boys, whom the mother has named Samuel, Joshua and Jovanny – were born prematurely at 34 weeks and are in the intensive care ward at hospital.

They weighed 4lbs 2oz, 3lbs 1oz and 3lb 7oz. However, they are expected to survive. As for the mother, she is said to be 'happy' with her new arrivals.

Victor Calderón, director of the Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Maternity Unit, said the babies are not in any danger, adding they 'are progressing satisfactorily, and they could be released this week'.

The legal age of consent in the Caribbean island nation is 18, yet it has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the world.

Nearly 15 per cent of 15-19-year-olds in the Dominican Republic are mothers, with hundreds of babies born to girls under the age of 15 every year, according to children's right charity ECPAT UK.

The Dominican Republic's Code of Minors has recently been revised and has strengthened provisions against child abuse, including physical and emotional mistreatment, sexual exploitation and child labour, ECPAT UK said.

The offence of child abuse carry a sentence of between 20 to 30 years jail.

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