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15 convicted in Ayanavaram child sexual assualt case under POCSO

CHENNAI: A Special Court for trial of cases under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act here on Saturday convicted 15 persons, out of the total 17 accused,  in a case of a child sexual assault at Ayanavaram in 2018. One of the accused was acquitted by Judge RN Manjula, citing lack of evidence while another died during the trial. The punishment will be pronounced on February 3.

The in-camera proceedings on Saturday went on for more than three hours. The incident came to light on July 13, 2018, when the victim informed her elder sister that she was suffering from acute stomach pain.
She also informed her sister that she was raped, sometimes even gang-raped, by men working in the apartment they lived in. Subsequently, her sister informed the parents who complained to Ayanavaram All Women Police Station.

On Saturday, amidst high security, all 16 were brought to the court from Central Prison, Puzhal to the Special Court. Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) N Ramesh said, “ The judge read out the charges through which we inferred the sentences against the accused and the entire quantum of sentence will be pronounced in detail on Monday”.He said one of the accused Gunasekaran, a gardener in the apartment, who was arrested in the case, was acquitted for lack of evidence and an appeal will be filed soon after consultation.

When laws take their course in Ayanavaram rape case
The prosecution also said the quantum of sentence to at least five accused can run to life term since most of the charges they have been accused of have been made out in the court. The accused were booked under various sections of POCSO Act, and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, in which two new sections were inserted to provide maximum penalty of death sentence to convicts of rape of minor girls below 12 years.