Two months after a 15-year-old girl had lodged a complaint of blackmail and repeated gang-rape by 33 persons, including 4 juveniles, the Thane police filed its charge sheet in the sensational case, officials said on Friday.
The charge sheet, running into over 800 pages with 112 witness statements, was lodged with the Magistrate Court in Kalyan, signalling the end of the investigations.
The victim's boyfriend indulged in forcible sex with her and filmed the act - which he later shared with his friends, who also exploited the same to rape her.
Many of the youths had blackmailed and threatened the girl and compelled her to have sex with them at different locations, according to police investigations.
The accused have been booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Initial police investigations pointed at the involvement of around 23 persons, which later went upto 33, including 4 minors, sending shockwaves among the people and law enforcers in the state.
The 26 adult accused were arrested and sent to police custody while the 2 minor boys were sent to the Bhiwandi Juvenile Home, while the remaining were absconding and nabbed later.
According to the complaint, the victim came in touch with the prime accused after he befriended her on social media, and he indulged in a forced sexual act with her in January 2021, which he also videotaped.
Betraying the victim, he shared the sex video with his friends, which was circulated to other friends and all blackmailed, threatened the victim and forced her into sex with them continuously for more than nine months, the police said.
The victim knew nearly all assailants and they coerced her to accompany them to various locations nearby in Dombivali, Rabale, Thane, Badlapur towns and even at a remote farmhouse where they raped her in groups.
The victim finally mustered courage to confide about her ongoing sexual exploitation to her aunt and the Manpada Police Station lodged an FIR on September 22.
The distraught girl was admitted to hospital for medical tests and treatment and recovered later, even as locals demanded stringent punishment for the accused and sought the case to be assigned to a Special Fast Track Court to ensure justice for the victim.
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