Police in India arrested 18 men in Chennai on Tuesday who are suspected of raping a 12-year-old hearing impaired girl over the period from Jan. 15 to July 5, and are still looking for other men that may have been involved in the attacks, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The young girl identified her first attacker to police as Ravi Kumar, a 66-year-old elevator operator in a 300-apartment complex on the block where the victim’s family lived. She said that after first assaulting her, in subsequent days he would bring other men into the apartment complex to rape and assault her as well, The Times of India reported Tuesday.
The men drugged her with injections, laced soft drinks and powder that they would make her sniff before the sexual assaults. Several men took videos of themselves sexually assaulting the girl and threatened to release the videos or harm her further if she ever told anyone, police told local reporters Monday.
“Ravi would lead away the child as soon as she alighted from her school van to the basement, public washrooms, the terrace and gym, where he and his accomplices raped her,” police told The Times of India. “Many of the flats were vacant so the suspects had little hindrance while committing the crime.”
The young girl confided in her sister about the attacks and her parents filed a report with the All Women Police Station in Vepery on Monday, police said. Medical examination revealed that she was indeed raped, according to several local news reports. (RELATED: Indian Army Called In To Prevent Violence Over Guru’s Rape Sentencing)
The child’s assailants included men ranging from 66 years old to 23 years old and included security guards, plumbers, gardeners, housekeepers, electricians and others, according to The Times of India. They are being charged with rape, attempted murder and criminal intimidation, according to Reuters. The victim was able to identify all of her assailants who were arrested, and at least four of the men have confessed to the assault while two others said they had molested the girl, officials told the Hindustan Times.
The men appeared in a Chennai court on Tuesday and were beaten and kicked by lawyers who were outraged by their alleged crimes, according to Times Now news.
The 17 people, who have been accused of raping and sexually harassing a 12 year old girl, were thrashed by lawyers at a Mahila court in Chennai pic.twitter.com/bsO6SLmvXO
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 17, 2018
On average, over a hundred cases of rape were reported by women every day in India in 2016, according to the most recent figures available by the national crime records bureau. At least six of those girls were under the age of 12.
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