Documents say India fatal gang rape suspect is a juvenile

A suspect in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus in December was a juvenile at the time

Topics: delhi gang rape, Rape, Violence Against Women, Crime, Juveniles, ,

Documents say India fatal gang rape suspect is a juvenileIndian students shout slogans as they march a street during a protest in New Delhi, India. (Credit: AP/Altaf Qadri)

NEW DELHI (AP) — Documents presented in a hearing Tuesday indicate that a suspect in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus in December was a juvenile at the time of the attack, a court official present at the hearing said.

Two principals from the suspect’s elementary school showed paperwork indicating that the suspect was a juvenile at the time of the Dec. 23 attack, which would make him ineligible for the death penalty, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of a gag order on the case.

A judge is expected to rule on the suspect’s age in a Jan. 28 hearing, the official said, adding that the suspect did not appear in court Tuesday.

The suspect, who is not being identified by The Associated Press because he says he is 17, would face three years in a reform facility if convicted as a juvenile. A conviction as an adult could lead to his execution.

Five other men also have been charged in the case, which has put an international spotlight on sexual abuse against women in India. One of the five now says he is also a minor.

Police say the 23-year-old victim and a male friend boarded the bus on Dec. 16 after an evening movie. But the bus turned out to be off-duty and was being driven by a group of friends who, police say, attacked the couple and then took turns raping the woman. They also penetrated her repeatedly with a metal bar, causing massive internal injuries. The two were eventually dumped on the roadside. The woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.

Figuring out the young suspect’s age could be complicated. He is believed to lack a birth certificate — a common occurrence in India, where many people are born at home. In such cases, school records are often used as proof of age or identity.

You Might Also Like

The principal of the suspect’s former elementary school, who testified at the hearing, said earlier that the suspect quit school in the third grade, about eight years ago. He declined to provide details on the school’s records on the young man, but said few people from the school, in a rural, poverty-battered part of Uttar Pradesh state, have proof of their age.

“None of these people have documents,” said Shishu Pal Singh. “If the parents say he’s 6 years old (when he is first brought to school), we list him as 6 years old. If he looks older, we may say he is 7.”

There are also medical tests that can indicate a person’s general age, though it’s unclear if the technology would be able to give a precise age.

While sexual violence is believed to be a major problem across India, the issue has seldom been raised in a country where women are still often regarded as second-class citizens. Victims are often blamed for sexual attacks — by their families or authorities — and the shame of rape keeps many women from reporting such attacks at all.

The bus rape, though, has drawn protests and intense media attention. Rapes have become front-page news nearly every day across the country, with demands that police do more to protect women and that the courts treat sexual violence seriously.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>