A Chennai court awarded life sentence to five of the 15 convicts in the 2018 sexual harassment case of a minor. Nine others were sentenced to five years imprisonment and one was given seven years.
On Saturday, a special court for cases under POCSO (protection of children from sexual offences) Act convicted 15 of the 16 accused and acquitted one person in the case.
The court declared the accused including six in their 20s, three in their 40s and remaining in their 50s and 60s guilty under sections 307 (Attempt to murder), 506(ii)(Criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code, and also under sections 5 (Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault) 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 9 (Aggravated sexual assault), 10 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) and 12 (Sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act.
A gardener in his mid-50s was acquitted by the Special judge R N Manjula. Another accused passed away during the trial period.
In the case that came to light sometime in July 2018, 17 men who worked in an apartment complex in the city were arrested on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old differently-abled girl. According to police, the victim was subjected to repeated sexual harassment since January 2018 and the family filed the complaint after the girl narrated her ordeal to her elder sister, who was studying in another city, when she came home during her college holiday.
The arrested worked as lift operator, an electrician, plumbers, security guards and gardeners at the apartment complex. All the 17 accused were found to have sexually assaulted the minor victim continuously for seven months.
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