Two Indian chefs in New Zealand have been sentenced to 19 years in jail for raping a schoolgirl.
According to reports here, Kirti Ram, 40, and Manish Kumar Tyagi, 30, who worked in the Two Fat Indians restaurant in Christchurch, were on Tuesday found guilty of raping the 17-year-old girl in their restaurant on January 2 last year.
The trial heard that the two men had taken the girl to the restaurant and had subjected her to sexual assault over a three-hour period.
The girl later managed to escape when she was being taken to a taxi.
The two men, however, tried to defend themselves by saying that the act had been consensual and it had been arranged in lieu of payment.
However, evidence from the girl's boyfriend, who received distress calls during the time of the incident, and from the taxi driver went against Ram and Tyagi.
The jury convicted the two after a trial, which lasted a week.
The judge's order was translated to the two men sentence by sentence in Hindi.
A report quoted Tyagi's counsel as saying that it was a major tragedy to his client's family. He has two children, one of whom was born only last fortnight.
He said Tyagi's wife would try to stay on in Christchurch as long as she was allowed.
Ram had come to New Zealand to work so he could send money back to his family in India comprising his wife and four children, according to the report.