CHENNAI: A 45-year-old teacher of a private school was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an eight-year old girl in the school premises late on Monday night. Police said the incident came to light only after the child was taken to a private hospital when she complained of severe pain.
Doctors at the private hospital suggested that the child could have been sexually assaulted and referred her to the government Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore.
Doctors there who examined the child informed the hospital Police Out Post about the case of sexual assault, which in turn passed the information to Aminjikarai Police which has jurisdiction over the school campus. Preliminary investigations revealed that the teacher had sexually assaulted the child in the school premises itself. Subsequently, the teacher, James Maria Gnanaraj (45), a resident of Kodambakkam, was picked up for interrogation on Monday night.
“A few days ago, he had lured the child to come with him to an unoccupied classroom on the third floor. He then sexually assaulted the child repeatedly, warning her not to reveal it to any one. In case anyone found out the injuries, he asked her to say that she hurt herself while playing,” said a senior police official. Traumatised by the assault, the child did not reveal anything initially. After much coaxing, the child narrated the sequence of events to her parents and the police.
A case has been registered against the teacher under section 9 (F) (staff of educational or religious institution committing sexual assault on a child in the institution) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012, and also under section 10 of POSCO Act.