A 23-year-old man was awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment along with Rs 5,000 fine, after he was convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on Thursday.
In the submission before the special court, prosecutor Veena Shelar said the accused repeatedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy of his neighbourhood for five years.
The abhorrent act came to fore in 2019 when the victim, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was caught by his mother while trying to take Rs 100 from a safe.
During the act's questioning, the minor told that he was taking the money to give it to a friend so that he doesn't reveal a ‘secret’. This friend had witnessed the act of sexual assault on the child by the accused and had asked him to give money for not spilling the beans to the victim's mother.
Also, the accused had threatened the boy of not sharing his ordeal, saying that doing so would spoil his mother’s reputation and she would drive him out of the house. Hence, the frightened child kept quiet for so long as he couldn't muster courage to confide in his parents.
Testifying before the court last year, the victim had told that the first incident took place when he was five or six years old. He was playing with a ball which entered the home of the accused.
He had gone to his house to fetch the ball when the youth, aged 19 then, forced himself on him after closing the door. Thereafter, he would sexually assault him every Wednesday; as on that day, the mother of the accused would be out for work.
Special judge SC Jadhav recommended the case for compensation to the District Legal Services Authority.