CUDDALORE: Delivering its verdict in the sensational 2014 rape case involving two minor girls from Cuddalore and several prostitution gangs from across the State, the District Mahila Court on Friday found 16 people guilty under various charges including abduction, sexual assault and rape. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Monday.
According to Special Public Prosecutor K Selvapriya, one of the victims, then aged 13, was studying in a government school at Tittakudi. She used to visit an idly shop nearby and developed friendship with the woman who owned the shop. In 2014 during Pongal, the minor girl casually visited the woman’s house where she saw the woman having sex with an unknown man. Shocked over this, the girl tried to immediately leave the place but was caught by the woman. The woman then manipulated the girl into having sex with the unknown man.
Subsequently, the woman forced the girl to have sex with her husband and three other men. When the girl started protesting, the woman asked her to bring another girl if she was to be let off. Agreeing to this, the victim brought a minor girl, then aged 14, from her neighbourhood, to the woman’s house, only to be raped and sexually assaulted by the men of Tittakudi gang.
In the following months, the girls were trafficked to various places in the State such as Salem, Panruti, Vadalur, Virudachalam and Ulundurpet, and were abused by several men.
The police investigation had also revealed that the girls were forced to watch pornography and raped by a church priest when they were under the custody of the Tittakudi gang.
Meanwhile, the father of one of the girls filed a missing complaint with Tittakudi police in July 2014. Finally, the girls escaped from the clutches of the traffickers when they were being taken to Vadalur.
While the girls were on their way to Virudhachalam, they are said to have been befriended by two men who took them to Velankanni and Chennai. Unable to find any jobs or support, the girls returned to Tittakudi. Upon questioning, the victims narrated the ordeal to police and identified 19 persons, including the couple, Tamilarasi and Satheesh.
While 17 people were arrested in connection with the case, Tamilarasi and Satheesh managed to escape the police radar, and have been absconding. At the end of the trial on Friday, the judge found 16 people guilty while acquitting the remaining one. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Monday.