A special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, on Thursday, sentenced a 45-year-old man to five years imprisonment for repeatedly sexually assaulting his seven-year-old daughter, who is intellectually and physically disabled.
Special Judge Bharti V Kale also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the man, who worked as a sweeper before his arrest in the case in mid-2018.
In a rare case, special public prosecutor Geeta Sharma said the victim in this case did not testify due to her disabilities. Her mother and aunt, who were eyewitnesses to the crime, deposed. The testimony of the child could not be recorded before a magistrate earlier either, though it was recorded by the police at the time of lodging the complaint. The child had then spoken through gestures and sign language, which her mother had helped the police understand. The man had disowned the child who was born with disabilities.
The matter came to be reported after the man started harassing his wife and child, who had moved to a small flat in Nalasopara due to his harassment. The mother complained that he was an alcoholic and would beat her if she did not give him money and also sexually assault their daughter.
When he came to know she had bought a flat in Nalasopara, he had come there and started demanding joint ownership in it. He started touching the child inappropriately to compel her into giving him a right in the flat. The woman, who worked as a cook, had confided in her employer, who had in turn connected her with a non-governmental organisation that helped her lodge the complaint.