New Delhi: An 81-year-old sketch artist was held by the police in Noida, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday for allegedly committing ‘digital rape’ with a 17-year-old for over seven years, reported news agency PTI. The family of the victim knew the accused for several years and had sent their daughter to live with him and seek education in the city. The minor was being sexually exploited by the man ever since.
“Accused Maurice Ryder has been arrested after an FIR was lodged against him under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation). He is accused of digital rape of a 17-year-old girl over the last seven years,” said a police spokesperson, reported PTI.
The girl was initially scared of protesting but in the last one month she began to make videos of the sexaul advances – mainly as audio files – made by the man towards her. She then shared the recorded evidences with a woman living with the man, who then lodged a complaint with the Noida police.
What Is Digital Rape?
‘Digital rape’ does not relate to any sexaul offence committed digitally, like defacing someone’s identity on the internet or misusing any digital platform. It however, refers to the act of forcibly inserting fingers or toes inside the other person’s private parts without consent. The word ‘digit’ in the English language dictionary means finger, thumb and toe, which is why the act has been termed as ‘digital rape’.
‘Digital rape’ was considered as molestation until December 2012 and did not fall under the ambit of rape. It was after the horrific Nirbhaya gang-rape incident in 2012 that new rape laws were passed in the parliament and the act was classified as sexual offence.
Quantum Of punishment In Digital Rape Case
Many rape cases, including digital rapes are usually committed by close ones and are not reported out of fear and embarrassment. Awareness about rape laws are also minimal due to which many cases go unreported. According to the law, an accused can be awarded five years of jail term by the court. The punisment can extend up to 10 years with life impisonment in some cases.