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At least 22 men including security guards, plumbers and elevator operators of an apartment complex in Chennai, sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl for seven months, police said. 

The Times of India reported that 18 of the 22 suspects who were involved in the horrific crime has been arrested. The police have recorded the statement of the 18 arrested in a Mahilla Court and also registered a case under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. Investigation to track the other accused is on-going.

What happened?
The investigating officer said that the perpetrators would sedate the child with injections, give her drug-laced drinks or even made her sniff some sort of powder and then take her to the secluded parts of the complex and then rape her. Some of the accused also videographed themselves committing the crime.

She could not say anything to anyone in the past seven months as she was blackmailed that her video would be released online if she did. She was also threatened with violent physical repercussions if she told anyone.

“This continued till the girl on Saturday told her older sister, a college student on a visit home from Delhi, about the trauma she was going through,” an officer said. “The sister informed their parents, who filed a complaint with the Ayanavaram all women police.”

The police told that Ravi Kumar, the 66-year-old elevator operator would initially sexually assault her in the almost unoccupied 300-flat apartment complex. Three days later, two men reeking of alcohol came to rape her. They made a video of raping her.

“Ravi would lead away the child as soon as she alighted from her school van to the basement, public washrooms, the terrace and gym, where he and his accomplices raped her,” the officer said. “Many of the flats were vacant so the suspects had little hindrance while committing the crime.”

The accused belong from FOCUS, a security firm, and UK Facility Services, Chennai.

The girl’s father would not be at home. The girl’s mother never suspected anything as she thought that the girl would play with her friends in the locality before coming back home. The girl had been taken to Kilpauk Medical College for treatment.

“We have sent seized syringes and an empty soft drink bottle to the forensic laboratory to determine what drugs they used,” the officer said, adding that investigators had also sent seized condoms for tests, reported The Times of India.