A 26-YEAR old man who worked as a cleaner in a prominent suburban school has been sentenced to ten years in jail for sexually abusing a four-year old girl. The man was convicted on Thursday under section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act by special POCSO court Judge Rekha Pandhare. The minimum sentence under the section for aggravated penetrative sexual assault is ten years.
The incident had taken place in 2014, when the child returned from school and complained to her mother of pain in her private parts. The child’s mother noticed some redness but thought it was due to infection from chlorinated water, as the child was taking swimming classes. When the child complained about pain for the second day in a row, the mother inquired with her. The girl described what had taken place in the school’s washroom, after which her mother rushed her to a doctor. She also lodged a police complaint for sexual abuse leading to the arrest of the accused.
The court had examined ten witnesses, including the child, her mother and staff members of the school, including the girl’s class teacher. The medical certificate also showed external injury to the child’s private parts. The staff members had deposed that the accused had been given the work of cleaning the school toilets and that he was present in the school on the day of the incident. The defence argued that it was a case of mistaken identity and that no one had seen him enter the washroom. The court directed the accused to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 to the victim.