A Thane court has sentenced a 26-year-old man in Navi Mumbai to rigorous imprisonment for five years for sexually assaulting a minor girl in her home.
Thane District and Special Judge Ashutosh N Karmarkar last week convicted the man under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act sections 7 and 9 (m) (sexual assault on a child below 12 years).
According to the prosecution, the girl, who was 10 and studying in Class 5, was alone at home in Navi Mumbai’s Pavane village when she was assaulted by the man on December 6, 2014.
The girl had gone out to fetch some water. When she returned home, the accused, who lived in the same neighbourhood, followed her inside and touched her inappropriately.
When the girl resisted, he pushed her to the ground. As she raised an alarm, the man ran away, prosecutor Sanjay Londhe submitted before the court.
The girl informed her mother about the incident when the latter came from work that evening.
Subsequently, the girl’s mother lodged a police complaint.
According to the prosecutor, the evidence of the victim showed there was sexual intent on the part of the accused. Also, there were marks on her chest. The medical certificate also supports her story, he said.
The accused, in his defence, argued that the girl’s mother had a dispute over water with one of his relatives.
He said he had attempted to settle the argument because of which the girl’s mother was trying implicate him with a false allegation.
The accused also urged the court to take a lenient view saying he was poor and the only earning member in his family, with his wife and widowed mother being dependent on him.
In his order, the judge noted that the act of the accused to enter the girl’s house when she was alone and to touch her inappropriately showed it was committed with sexual intent.
The court also convicted the man under IPC section 354 A (1)(ii) (sexual harassment) and awarded rigorous imprisonment for another three months under it.
Both the sentences are to run concurrently.