NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian juvenile court will hand down a verdict later this month in the fatal December gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus, a defense lawyer said Thursday.
The verdict would be the first handed down in the rape case, which led to furious street protests in India and sparked major reforms to the nation’s antiquated sexual assault laws.
Lawyer Rajesh Tiwari told reporters outside the court that his client would learn his fate July 25. The defendant was 17 at the time of the attack and is being tried as a minor on charges including murder and rape. He faces a maximum sentence of three years at a reform center. Court rules forbid the publication of his name even though he has since turned 18.
The defendant was one of six people accused of tricking a young woman and her male companion into boarding an off-duty bus Dec. 16. Police say the men then raped and brutalized the woman and savagely beat the man before dumping them on the roadside. The woman died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
Four of the other defendants are being tried in a special fast-track court in New Delhi and face the death penalty. The sixth accused was found dead in his jail cell in March.
The attack set off furious protests across India about the treatment of women in the country and led to a swift overhaul of sexual assault laws.