DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Advocates say Ohio’s marriage laws allowing underage teens to marry are too liberal and create potential for exploiting young girls.

The Dayton Daily News reports Ohio law requires teen girls to be at least 16 and males at least 18 before they can marry but allows for younger pregnant girls to wed with permission from parents and juvenile courts.

The newspaper found that more than 4,400 girls age 17 or younger were married in Ohio between 2000 and 2015, including 59 who were 15 or younger. Three were just 14.

The executive director of a national nonprofit advocating for ending child marriage says Ohio’s law creates situations comparable to Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Ohio law says it’s illegal for an adult to have sex with someone 14 or 15.

 

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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