Chennai

Court convicts 15 of 17 accused in Ayanavaram rape case

The police had arrested 17 persons, all of whom were service staff at the apartment complex.

The police had arrested 17 persons, all of whom were service staff at the apartment complex.   | Photo Credit: S_R_Raghunathan

Judge of Pocso court will pronounce quantum of sentence tomorrow

A special court to try cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act on Saturday convicted 15 of the 17 accused charged with grave offences, including aggravated penetrative sexual assault, on an 11-year-old hearing impaired girl in Ayanavaram in 2018. The judge will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Monday.

An accused was let off and another died during the trial.

The All-Women Police arrested 17 persons — all of them service staff at the residential apartment where the girl lived with her family. The accused had developed an acquaintance with the victim and reportedly committed aggravated sexual assault and aggravated penetrative assault on several occasions, from January 15 to July 14, 2018.

Apartment staff

The prosecution alleged that the child was unable to understand what happened to her, and that she was raped by 17 persons, on several occasions, over a period of six months. The crime came to the notice of the girl’s parents when they took her to a hospital after she complained of stomachache.

The accused were employed in the apartment complex as lift operators, electricians, plumbers, security guards and gardeners. The apartment association had engaged them through three agencies. Lift operator Ravikumar, 56, is said to have initiated the sexual assault. Other offenders followed him, the prosecution claimed.

The trial was conducted by special public prosecutor N. Ramesh before special judge R.N. Manjula. One of the accused, N. Babu, died of ill health during trial, and 16 others went on to face trial. On Saturday, amid tight security, the 16 offenders were brought to the court complex, located on the Madras High Court premises. The court conducted in-camera proceedings.

On the production of the offenders, the special judge, Ms. Manjula, held 15 of them guilty of offences they were charged with, and convicted them, while A.P. Gunasekaran was acquitted. Later, she questioned them about the quantum of sentence to be imposed against them. After recording their individual replies, the judge adjourned the matter to Monday to pronounce the quantum of sentence on them.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:04:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/court-convicts-15-of-17-accused-in-ayanavaram-rape-case/article30718182.ece

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