A father, who sexually assaulted his daughter three years ago, has been sentenced to 16 years rigorous imprisonment by a Mahila Court here.

M. Sivakumar, 39, owner of a sports store in north Chennai, was arrested by All Women Police Station of MKB Nagar here based on the complaint given by his daughter. According to the prosecution, he had subjected his daughter to sexual abuse since her school days. He continued his acts even after she joined a college. In 2010, he took her in a car to a club on the city outskirts where he tried to sexually assault her, but she managed to escape.

Later, it came light that her younger sister faced similar torture from him. When her mother questioned his acts, his relatives warned her against disclosing the matter. On February 2, 2011, the girl lodged a criminal complaint with police.

He was charged under Sections 376 (punishment for rape), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC and 4 of Tamil Nadu Prevention of Women Harassment Act.

As the witnesses turned hostile during trial, the court relied on the images, video and audio footages stored in the victim’s mobile phone.

Holding Shivakumar guilty, Mahila Court Judge Meena Satheesh said the father’s act was tantamount to ‘fence grazing the crop’. It was also established that he had sexually assaulted his daughters.

The court also imposed fine of Rs.25,000 on him.