Man sentenced to life term in jail for raping minor Dalit girl in Kerala
A court in north Kerala on Wednesday sentenced a 48-year-old man to life in jail for raping a four-and-a-half year old Dalit girl last year. After the verdict, the public prosecutor said this was the first judgment in South India after the amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act passed by Parliament in August this year.
The incident occurred on October 9, 2018 in Bedakam (Kasaragod district) and the investigation and trial were completed in 13 months. According to the prosecution, the girl was playing outside the house of the accused V S Raveendran and he enticed the girl to his house with chocolates and sexually assaulted her.
Two days later the mother noticed some behavioural changes in her and the child reportedly told her about the incident. Later a medical examination also confirmed the assault.
During investigation it came to light that the accused had assaulted the girl earlier also. Prosecutor A Prakash said Raveendran was found guilty under the POCSO Act 376 A & B by additional sessions court judge P S Sasikumar. At least 22 witnesses were examined during the trial.