CHANNAI: The girl was lured with soft drinks laced with drugs, then later kept silent with weapons and threats, according to police.
Repeatedly, over several months, authorities said, more than a dozen men raped and molested the 11-year-old, who lived with her parents in a gated community in the southern Indian city of Chennai. The men filmed their assaults, police said, and told the girl that they would publish the video if she told anyone.
“An entire community got together to rape a child. I cannot even fathom the depravity and horror of this act,” journalist Rohini Singh wrote on Twitter.
According to police, the victim was first assaulted in January by an elevator operator. The 66-year-old man allegedly attacked her one afternoon as she was riding around the swanky residential complex on her bicycle. Police say he invited other employees at the complex – including men who operated the elevators, brought water coolers to apartments and greeted guests at the front desk – to join in and film the assault.
According to court documents, the men repeatedly kidnapped the girl over several months, taking her to empty apartments in the complex. They allegedly forced her to take sedatives, then tied a belt around her neck. She was then made to watch obscene videos as the men took turns raping her, the documents allege. The men ranged in age from 23 to 66. Some local news reports said the girl has a hearing disability.
For months, the girl’s parents assumed she was out playing. But last week, her sister noticed strange marks on her body and brought it to the parents’ attention.
Children in India have repeatedly been victims of horrifying sexual assaults. In January, an 8-year-old was kidnapped and locked in a Hindu temple, where she was raped and beaten to death. In May, at least three teenagers were raped and set on fire. Just last month, a 7-year-old was raped, then left to die with a slit throat.