Lawyer in India rape case says client is a minor
NEW DELHI (AP) - One of the five men charged with gang-raping and killing a woman is a minor, his lawyer said on Monday as he demanded an age-determination test in what could be a tactic to delay the case from being tried in a fast-track court.
The five charged in last month's attack of the 23-year-old student in a moving bus in New Delhi would face a possible death penalty if convicted. A sixth suspect says he is 17 years old, and if he is tried in a juvenile court he would face a maximum sentence of three years in a reform facility.
The rape of the woman, and the brutal beating that led to severe organ failure, has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such tragedies. Protesters and politicians have called for tougher rape laws, police reforms and a transformation in the way the country treats women.
The five men charged with various crimes in the incident live in a slum in New Delhi, and were riding in an off-duty bus that picked up the woman and a male companion late in the evening of Dec 16 in a posh part of the capital. Both were beaten severely and thrown off the bus. The woman died two weeks later of the injuries in a Singapore hospital.