Mumbai: A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the special POCSO court for sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl who lived opposite his house in February 2016. The victim's family had recently relocated from Bihar and started working at a Vadapav stall in Goregaon, Mumbai.
The special court, while delivering the sentence, noted that the accused subjected the victim, a girl barely aged 3 years and 4 months at the time, to a severe sexual assault. Despite the accused being a young man with a family, the court emphasised that this did not justify or excuse the assault, which left the child with lasting physical and psychological trauma.
Leniency dismissed owing to victim's severe bodily harm
The court dismissed any leniency for the accused, stating that the aggravating circumstances of a small child being raped by someone known to her far outweighed any mitigating factors such as the accused having a family to support or being a young man without prior criminal history.
Referring to the medical evidence of the girl's injuries, the court highlighted the extreme nature of the assault, including vaginal tear, perineal body tear, anal sphincter tear, and anal rectum mucosa tear. The injuries were so severe that the girl required colostomy to divert stool and undergo a 15-day hospital stay.
Accused's defence rejected
The court rejected the accused's defence claiming the injuries resulted from a fall on a sharp object, pointing out that detailed examinations could only be conducted under anesthesia in the operation theater, indicating the severity of the sexual assault.
According to the prosecution, both the accused and the victim's father hailed from the same village in Bihar. The father had recently migrated to Mumbai, where he worked at a Vadapav stall whose owner provided housing for the family in Goregaon. The accused resided in the same area, opposite the victim's family.
On February 4, 2016, at around 10:35, the father found his bleeding daughter being carried by his employer and a local woman. The girl's clothes were stained with blood, and the family was informed that the accused had been seen taking the girl away in a hurry. The victim narrated the assault, leading to the registration of the case and her immediate hospitalisation.