Cecil Burrows came to the US when he was 12, and lonely and isolated he fell in with a gang of criminals, setting off on a road that would take him to jail and eventually, when he is out, back to Mumbai, where he was born.
Burrows, 23 was sentenced to 18 months in jail by a court in Montgomery, a county in Maryland abutting Washington DC, for his role in the gang-rape of a nearly comatose woman in a townhouse nearly four years ago in 2012.
He had played the role of a “coach”, issuing instructions.
“Hold her down,” he was heard saying in a 35-minute audio recording played in the court, according to The Washington Post, on Thursday, “Cecil, he like a coach,” said one of the assailants.
Burrows had recorded the assault, which had taken place at his house. But his role would be discovered two years later, when one of the convicted men gave him away, telling detectives he was at home then and not away.
Burrows had told the police earlier he had stepped out to get beer when the woman, who was either drunk or had been drugged, was assaulted.
The recording, only audio, was found on his computer.
“On the recording,” detectives wrote in court papers, the Post reported, “a female can be heard crying out and asking for them to stop. . About six minutes into the recording, a male voice can be heard remarking that she is sitting there like she is dead, then one subject asks in a louder voice, ‘Are you alive? Hello?’ ”
Burrows could be heard giving instructions, asking at one point, “Who’s next?”
Burrows was born in Mumbai, according to his attorney cited by the Post. His father left the family when was two, and when he was four, his mother emigrated to the United States.
Burrows and his younger sister moved in with grandparents, then wth relatives living in a slum, said the Post, not naming it.
Burrows and his sister came to Montgomery County when he was 12, and feeling “lonely” and isolated, he was soon moving around with a gang. “I felt a sense of love, connection and belonging in a way I never felt before,” he said court on Thursday. “I also knew that to challenge them was to risk getting kicked out violently.”
Burrows is a lawful permanent resident of the US, but not a citizen yet, and will be deported to India after he completes his sentence, which together with time already served will be three years.