An Indian teen has been sentenced to three years in juvenile detention for the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman who later died in the hospital, the first verdict in a case that has sparked international outrage over the brutal crime.
Police say the convicted 18-year-old was one of five men who lured the 23-year-old victim and her male friend onto a bus in the capital, New Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten in December.
"He has been convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to three years in a correctional home subject to review," Anil Sharma, the chief investigating officer in the case, said.
According to The Hindustan Times newspaper:
"The defendant, who was 17 at the time of the attack, has been sentenced to three years in a reform home, the maximum sentence he could have faced, his lawyer Rajesh Tewari said. Indian law forbids the publication of his name, though he has since turned 18."
"You may as well set the juvenile free, if the sentence is only three years for heinous offences like rape and murder," the victim's mother, who was in tears after the verdict, told reporters.
The Times of India says:
"The case against the juvenile offender had sparked a lot of public outrage with demands being raised to bring down the age to be declared juvenile from 18 to 16 years."
"The case was the highest profile of several similar incidents that have been reported in India in recent [months]."
We've reported on those other cases. Earlier this month, police made an arrest in the gang rape of a young photojournalist in Mumbai. In June, police arrested three men in connection with the rape of a U.S. tourist. The following month, six men were sentenced to life in prison in India after confessing to the gang rape of a Swiss tourist earlier this year.