A special court on Wednesday sentenced a 32-year-old washerman to three-years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually harassing two girls aged 9 and 10 years old in 2019, by exposing his private part to them.
He had committed the offence while another case lodged in 2017 was pending against him for sexual offence against a child.
As per the complaint filed by the mother of one of the girls who works as a bar dancer, the man had gestured to the girls to come to him when they were playing near the shop where he worked. He said he would show them magic and then had gone on to expose his private part and asked them to touch it. The girls had fled. Two days before this incident too, he had asked the girls to come to him at 10 pm and told them that he would let them leave in five minutes.
The families lived in a red light area in South Mumbai. Special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Priti Kumar (Ghule) said in her judgment while sentencing the man to maximum punishment provided for the offence, that the purpose of punishment is deterrance to society. “In the present case, the girl children are not safe in their locality. The safe movement of children in their locality is at risk due to persons having sexual intent,” the order read.
Mothers of another victim too worked as a bar dancer and had testified before the court, said prosecutor VD More. The court stated, “The mothers of girls are working for a living. The residence is not in a safe environment,” and added that the man had taken advantage of this situation. Refusing leniency to the man, Judge Ghule said he has not spared the girls from his sexual mentality and needs maximum punishment of three years.