In one of the fastest trials in a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) at the city sessions court, a 48-year-old man was on Monday sentenced to three-years rigorous imprisonment for exposing his private part to a 13-year-old neighbour when she was playing outside.
The man was earlier acquitted in a 2018 case of sexually assaulting his own daughter as she had not supported the prosecution's case in court.
In the present case, the incident took place in Bhandup on 11 October 2020 and the case was presented before court in mid-December 2020. The trial in all took two months and 15 days in which the court examined five witnesses, including the victim, her mother and a neighbour among police witnesses.
Appearing before the court, the 13-year-old victim had told the court that she had been playing outside with her friends at 3.15 PM on the day when the accused pulled down his half pant and flashed at her, offering her Rs. 100 if she comes to him at night. She went home and informed her mother about it, but her mother did not take it seriously. She went out again and he exposed himself yet again and this time he held her hand. The girl informed her mother again and this time, her mother confronted him and he verbally abused her mother. She then called the police and the man fled by the time the police arrived. He was later arrested the same day.
Special judge under the POCSO Act MA Baraliya ordered the man to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 and directed that the amount be paid to the victim as compensation. The man had sought leniency from the court stating that he had six children to look after.