Five members of the group were found guilty of aggravated penetrative sexual assault (including gang penetrative sexual assault of a child below 12 years of age) under Section 6 of the POCSO Act. Lift operator Ravikumar, 58; plumber Suresh, 34; security staff Palani, 42; and Abhishek, 25 were sentenced to prison until death, whereas Rajasekar, 42, a housekeeping staff has been given a life sentence.
The two members not sentenced were P. Gunasekaran, who was let go due to a lack of evidence, and an unnamed suspect who died during the trial period.
The rest of the group, who were all arrested by officers from an all-woman police station in Ayanavaram in July 2018, were given 5 years imprisonment, bar one, who was given seven.
Special prosecutor N. Ramesh explained “Initially, the special judge observed that the convicts committed offenses which attracted death sentence and added that after careful consideration of the circumstances, four of them were sentenced to imprisonment for the remainder of their life and one was sentenced to life imprisonment. They were all charged with committing penetrative sexual assault on the victim child.”
The judge presiding over the matter, R.N. Manjula, also ruled that the victim, who was subject to repeated sexual assault over a period that lasted 7 months, should be awarded a monetary compensation of 1.5 lacs.
“In this case, repeated penetrative sexual assault has been proved to have been committed on the victim child. Considering the physical and mental trauma undergone by the victim and her family and other factors surrounding the occurrence, expenses incurred towards travel and for the immediate expenses, I feel that an interim compensation of Rs. 1.5 lakh should be awarded,” she said.
Apsara Reddy, a prominent activist who worked with the family during this time of distress, released a statement where she said “I welcome the judgement. It will be a deterrent for anyone even thinking on the lines of sexual violence against children. In this particular case, I personally know the trauma, agony and the fear that the child was dealing with in her day to day life.”
In 2018, an 11-year-old girl in Chennai, who is hearing impaired, was allegedly raped by around 22 men in the last seven months in her apartment complex. So far, 17 men have been accused and arrested by the Chennai Police. A Mahila Court has since given the police five days to question the 17 accused.
According to The News Minute, the girl had identified all the 17 suspects in an identification parade in Puzhal prison in the presence of two magistrates. She had told the police that one of the accused used a blue injection, powder and some cream on her body before raping her. Turns out, the accused used to work in the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children in Chepauk, wherein he learned about the drugs used to relieve women from their labor pain.
The child lives in a gated community and was reportedly frequently assaulted. She told her story to her sister when she came down to Chennai from Delhi and complained of a stomach ache. Soon after she opened up, the family went on to lodge a complaint at an all-women police station in Ayanavaram. The girl’s parents took her to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital for treatment where it was found out that several men raped her.
Ravi, a 66-year-old lift operator, would lead the child as soon as she alighted from her school van to the basement, public washrooms, the terrace and gym, where he and other men would rape her. It is believed that since most of the apartments were left vacant, it wasn’t that difficult for the men to sexually assault the 11-year-old girl.
Most of these men who had allegedly raped her are the security guards, plumbers, and maintenance staff all from around and in the complex.