St. Joseph's school teacher sexually abused 4-year-old girl,

Chennai: The Madras High Court has overturned the lower Court's decision to acquit an English teacher of St Joseph's Play School in Puducherry in a sexual assault case. Teacher Arlam Pereira was accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl several times by sitting her on his lap. The case came to light in April 2018 when the girl's mother came to know about it.

Earlier on March 27, 2018, the accused had allegedly threatened the girl saying that he would kill her if she told anyone about it. The baby had been very scared since then, but she courageously narrated the whole ordeal to her mother on April 2, 2018. The accused Arlam Pereira was subsequently booked under Sections 6 and 10 of the Pocso Act and Section 506 (ii) of the IPC. When the matter reached the lower court, the accused was acquitted from there. The lower court in its order dated October 6, 2020, acquitted the accused saying that the statements of the parents of the victim were not consistent. Puducherry Public Prosecutor D Bharat Chakraborty said the victim is a child and was only four years old at the time of the incident in March 2018. But the court did not take note of it. The lower court's decision was then challenged in the Madras High Court.

The Madras High Court has quashed the lower court order saying that a four-year-old girl cannot be expected to give concrete evidence or evidence about sexual assault. The High Court has sentenced teacher Arlam Pereira to 10 years in jail with a fine of Rs 10,000 in two cases under the POCSO Act.

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