A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a child in June 2018.
A special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on Wednesday pronounced the sentence even though the victim and her mother turned hostile.
The child was seven-years-old at the time of the incident and lived on a footpath in south Mumbai, along with her parents and sister.
The accused, who owned a tea stall in the area, had picked her up when she was asleep at 1.30 am and took her to a secluded place where he touched her inappropriately.
Prosecutor Geeta Sharma said the CCTV footage shows the man taking the child away, which helped the police nail him.
However, during the trial the child’s mother retracted from her statement that she had given to the police and magistrate in the past. She told the court that she was illiterate and she put her thumb impression on the court documents without reading its contents.
The child, now 10-year-old, also turned hostile. She told the court that she wanted to use a public toilet and as her parents were asleep she had asked the accused to accompany her. She also said that the accused was known to her. She denied that he had sexually abused her.
However, special Judge Bharti Kale imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the accused and also asked him to pay Rs 8,000 to the victim as compensation.
The accused was out on bail before the matter could come up for hearing.
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