Court sentences six to life in prison in rape of Swiss woman

NEW DELHI Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:40am IST

Police escort men accused of a gang rape to a court in Datia district in Madhya Pradesh March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Police escort men accused of a gang rape to a court in Datia district in Madhya Pradesh March 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A court on Saturday sentenced six men convicted of the gang rape of a Swiss woman to life in prison, in one of several recent cases that have fuelled a public outcry over the high rate of sex crimes in India.

The 39-year-old Swiss woman was raped while camping with her husband in a forest in Madhya Pradesh in mid-March.

"It was a good judgment. It came early," said Rajendra Tiwari, a lawyer for the government.

The National Crime Records Bureau says more than 24,200 rapes were reported across India in 2011 - about one every 20 minutes. Police estimate only four out of 10 rapes are reported, largely due to victims' fear of being shamed by their families and communities.

The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus on December 16 in New Delhi sparked a global outcry over the issue and brought thousands of people onto the streets to demand better policing to prevent sex crimes. The trainee physiotherapist later died from her injuries.

An American tourist was gang-raped by a group of men in Manali in June. In March, a British woman jumped out of her hotel balcony in Uttar Pradesh to escape a feared sexual assault.

(Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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