KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Vincent Mosby signed a marriage contract and paid a dowry in a religious ceremony in August, police said.
Mosby, 23, of Kansas City, didn't legally marry his 14-year-old bride, however, because Missouri law won't allow it without a judge's order. Police said she was pressured into the union because her mother and stepfather thought she was going to be sexually active with a boy her age.
Although the bride's stepfather arranged the "marriage," according to court records, other relatives frowned upon the union and told police in late August. The relatives also took the girl to protect her from further sexual abuse, according to court records.
A relative told police Mosby called and threatened violence if they didn't "give me back my wife in 72 hours," according to court records. Two days later, on Sept. 9, someone fired three shots into the Kansas City home of the girl's aunt. No one was hit.
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Police arrested Mosby on Saturday for his alleged sexual relationship with the teenager. Jackson County prosecutors on Sunday filed one count of statutory rape. A judge set a $100,000 cash-only bond.
Police said the girl's stepfather and mother became concerned that she was going to become sexually active, so the stepfather allegedly approached Mosby about marrying the girl. The girl was "strongly encouraged" to wed Mosby, police said.
The stepfather, Mosby and the teen had several "sit downs" before the stepfather arranged for a religious ceremony on Aug. 4 at her home, not far from the stepfather's mosque.
Two members of the mosque attended, but the bride "was not allowed to be present," court records said. She waited in her room upstairs. Her stepfather allegedly came upstairs after the ceremony, which consisted of prayers and a contract signing, to announce that she was married.
Police say they have the "marriage contract" with the signatures of Mosby, the girl and the stepfather. The contract also notes the dowry the girl requested from Mosby — a watch and ring, which he told police he bought at Walmart.
Court records said the couple had sex three times in August in her home, while her mother and stepfather were home. The girl did not move in with Mosby. She stayed at home with her parents and kept in touch with Mosby through phone calls and text messages.
In Islam, boys and girls become adults based on when they reach puberty, and people in some parts of the world do marry young, said Mahnaz Shabbir of Stilwell, a past president of the Heartland Muslim Council.
However, she said, Islam also says followers should live by the laws of the land.
The girl's mother later told police she was not in favor of the marriage but was aware that it occurred. She told police that she told her daughter that Mosby, who went by the name Salih, could go to jail because of their ages, court records said.
Mosby told police he knew the girl was 14 but believed the relationship was legal since the girl's guardians approved. He denied shooting at the aunt's home but said he was angry at her family, according to court records.
The stepfather declined to talk to police. Phone records show 231 calls between the stepfather and Mosby between July 2 and Sept. 8.