A 25-year-old was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting his four-year-old neighbour.
The child was eight-year-old when deposed before the court and identified the youth before the court.
In the judgment that was pronounced through video-conferencing, Special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Rekha N. Pandhare also imposed a fine of Rs. 26,000 on the youth while convicting him under a section of the POCSO Act.
As per the complaint registered at Ghatkopar police station in December 2016, special public prosecutor Veena Shelar said that the incident had taken place when the child was sent by her mother in the wee hours to bring the water pipe from the youth's home. A neighbour of the family had a water tap which was being used by the family of the child as well as of the youth daily.
On 9 December, 2016 the youth called out to the mother of the child that they had finished filling water from the common tap. Then the mother had sent the child as usual to fetch the pipe from his home. The complaint stated that the child, then 4 years and 4 months old, had returned home frightened and started crying. When the mother inquired with her, the child told her that the youth had put his private part into her mouth. The mother immediately went to question him. He however did not answer her and left from his home.
The mother then informed her husband, a construction worker, when he returned home at 10 PM. He too inquired with his daughter. The child narrated the incident to him too. Then he went to question the neighbour, but his family informed that he was not at home. The couple then decided to approach the police and lodged the complaint late that night.