A teenager has been charged with raping a 12-year-old girl who gave birth to his baby son, it can be revealed.
The 19-year-old is to appear in court in Belfast next month after DNA tests indicated he was the father of the infant.
Last year the Belfast Telegraph revealed that police had launched an investigation after the girl, who is now 13, became pregnant.
The west Belfast mum gave birth to a boy two weeks ago, making her one of the youngest ever mothers in the UK.
It is understood that the 19-year-old male, who was babysitting the girl when the alleged rape occurred, denied he was the father.
Police waited until the child was born and then carried out DNA tests, which indicated that the teenager was the father. When the results came back this week, police then charged him with rape.
A PSNI spokeswoman said: "A 19-year-old male is expected to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on May 24 charged with rape."
The Belfast Telegraph also understands that the accused has fathered another child by a different woman within the past two months.
The family of the young mother are understood to have been left deeply shocked by the pregnancy.
According to recent statistics, 98% of teenagers who gave birth in 2014 were over 16. The youngest mother in the UK is thought to have became pregnant when she was still in primary school at the age of 11.
The girl, from London, gave birth in April 2014 aged 12 years and three months.
In summer 2014, a north Belfast woman became Britain and Ireland's youngest known grandmother at 29 when her 15-year-old daughter gave birth. The age of sexual consent in Northern Ireland has been reduced from 17 to 16 years of age.
It is a criminal offence to engage in any sexual activity with any child, with a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.
Where the sexual activity involves rape, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
The number of teenage girls to give birth in Northern Ireland has been steadily decreasing in recent years.
Statistics from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency showed that in 2014, 839 children were born to teenage mothers.