Eight people have been arrested while hunt is on for nine others for allegedly sexually exploiting a 15-year-old girl over a period of five months in Chikkamagaluru district, police said on Tuesday.
Among the accused who have been arrested by the Sringeri police is her aunt who had pushed her into prostitution, a senior police officer told PTI.
"We have arrested eight people including her Chikkamma (Aunt), who had pushed her into prostitution. Hunt is on for nine others who had sexually exploited the girl," the officer said.
According to the police, the girl started living with her aunt after the death of her mother three years ago.
For the past few months she was working in a stone crushing facility and came in contact with a bus driver who allegedly raped and sexually abused her.
Later, he and his accomplices raped her, made videos and blackmailed her, police said, adding, her aunt was aware of it and allowed it to happen.
A case has been registered under various IPC sections on charges of trafficking, rape and connivance besides Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Immoral Trafficking Act and Child Labour Act.