Kerala serial rape victim fails to identify accused 18 years later

The victim of an alleged serial rape on Monday failed to identify the accused in the cases as she appeared for trial 18 years after the incidents.

The victim, who is now married and has a child, told the special court in Kottayam that she was not able to identify the accused. The woman—a resident of Vithura near Thiruvananthapuram and a minor at the time of the incident—had allegedly been lured with an offer of employment by a woman who handed her over to the accused, who allegedly raped her at different locations from late 1995 to 1996. She appeared in court as part of the trial on 15 different cases pertaining to the serial rapes. The accused in four of these cases turned up for trial on Monday.

While one case was disposed of in 2007 with the acquittal of one the accused, seven more cases in connection with the sex racket are pending in another court. Following the victim’s statement on Monday, the court decided to try the investigating officer in the case. The court that had scheduled the trial of five cases on Monday has postponed the proceedings to September 13. The appeals by the accused in higher courts had also led to delays in the trial.

The victim had cited ill health and other issues as reasons for not appearing for the trial on earlier occasions, leading to criticism from the court. She had also appealed to the trial court to consider hearing all 15 cases in one day.

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