March 31, 2021 6:15:30 pm
A designated court on Tuesday convicted a 22-year-old man and sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment for raping a 13-year-old girl in Rajkot district in 2019. The court of additional district judge V K Pathak found the accused guilty under 376 (rape), 452 (house-trespass) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and under Section 3 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCS) Act. Section 3 of POCSO Act deals with penetrative sexual assault.
“The victim testified against the accused during the trial and (this) supported the case of the prosecution. Documentary evidence, including medical reports, also weighed in favour of the prosecution. The defence argued that the accused and the victim were in a relationship. But the court rejected that argument, underlining that the victim had not attained the age of consent as provided in the POCSO Act and convicted the accused,” Ghanshyam Dobariya, additional public prosecutor in the case, said.
The victim was a school student at the time while the accused, who used to live in the same neighbourhood as the victim, was a casual labourer.
According to prosecution’s case, the offence was committed in July, 2019. “The accused sneaked into the victim’s room at night, when her parents were asleep, and sexually assaulted her. However, when the victim’s parents got alerted, the accused managed to flee,” Dobariya said, adding, “After a complaint was registered in the case, the accused was arrested and has been in judicial custody till date. The maximum punishment in such cases is life imprisonment but the court showed some leniency towards the convict in this case, given his young age.”
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