An 18-year-old Indian student at the New York State University at Oswego, New York has been arrested for allegedly raping a student in the early hours of February 13 in her dorm room.
The accused, Abhay Pant, has been charged with first-degree rape, a class B felony, which, according to New York state laws could get him between 5 and 25 years if found guilty.
Pant is from Delhi and started school this January.
He has claimed he is innocent. His court-appointed attorney Joseph Rodak’s office refused to comment on the case saying they don’t discuss confidential client information.
“SUNY Oswego University Police on February 13 arrested Abhay Pant, 18, of Hart Hall on campus and of New Delhi, India, on a charge of first-degree rape, a class B felony. He is accused of entering a residence hall room and sexually assaulting the resident in the early morning hours on Feb. 13. He was arraigned in Oswego Town Court and remanded to the Oswego County jail in lieu of bail in the amount of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond,” said university spokeswoman Julie Blissert in a statement.
But, according to Desi Talk, a news publication focussed on Indian Americans, Pant told his family in Delhi he was innocent and had, in fact, been trapped.
A relative told Desi Talk that Pant, who is enrolled in a four-year computer engineering course, which Blissert couldn’t confirm for Hindustan Times, was studying till late on February 12.
And that he left his dorm room as his roommate had a woman visitor, goes the account. The alleged victim invited Pant to her room to continue studying, and he went in.
According to this published account, which could not be verified independently, the victim began fondling Pant while he was studying, and punched him when he protested.
He nearly passed out. The alleged victim then proceeded to undress him, at which stage he managed break free, and ran out. He was arrested shortly by university police.
“He is a very innocent and religious person and we are fully behind him,” Nripen Bishnoi, a Delhi doctor and Pant’s brother-in-law, told Desi Talk.