Minor girl digitally raped for more than 7 years by 81-year-old man

An 81-year-old artist-cum-teacher was arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida on Sunday for allegedly raping a girl over a period of more than seven years, police officials said.

“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,” a police spokesperson said.

The term “digital rape” means forced sex using fingers or toes. Such offences earlier did not fall under the ambit of rape.

Ryder, an artist-cum-teacher, was arrested by officials of the local Sector 39 police station on Sunday.

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“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,” SHO Sector 39 Rajeev Kumar was quoted saying by news agency PTI.

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

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

While its offenders 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.