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India

81-Year-Old Artist Arrested For ‘Digital Rape’ Of Minor Over 7 Years

The man was identified as an artist, Maurice Ryder, who was accused of obscene acts with the girl.

Protest againt Rape- Twitter
Image shows protestors holding placards against rape accused. Image used for representational purposes.

New Delhi: An 81-year-old man was arrested in Noida on Sunday for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl over a period of more than seven years.

Based on the complaint and information that was provided by the minor girl, Noida police have registered a case under sections 376 (rape), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 5 and 6 of the POCSO act.

The man was identified as an artist, Maurice Ryder, who was accused of obscene acts with the girl. Later, it was also learnt that the man used to thrash the girl whenever she resisted.

Digital rape refers to forced sex using fingers or toes or any other sharp object. Such offences earlier did not fall under the ambit of rape.

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Ryder was arrested by officials of the local Sector 39 police station on Sunday. “The girl lives here with her guardian, who has been a friend of the accused for around 20 years now. The guardian had lodged the complaint in the case,” PTI quoted SHO Sector 39 Rajeev Kumar as saying.

The accused was presented in a local court after his arrest and has been sentenced to 14 days judicial custody, Kumar added.

In India, classification of a sexual offence as “digital rape” took place in the wake of the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case of 2012, which had shocked the nation and led to reforms in the country’s criminal law to increase the ambit of crimes perceived as ‘rape’.

While offenders in such cases are now booked under the much wider IPC section 376 (rape), the usage of the term “digital rape” and conviction in such cases still remains relatively low in the country.

(With PTI inputs)

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