Cuddalore: A court here Monday sentenced 16 people, including a Christian priest, to various periods of imprisonment, including four life terms, for forcing two minor girls into prostitution. Mahila court sessions judge Lingeswaran sentenced the priest, Aruldoss, to 30 years in jail. A fine of Rs 5 lakh was also slapped on him. Two accused, Ananda Raj and Balasubramanian, were sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment.
Three women, Kala, Dhanalaksmi, Fathima, were sentenced to two terms of life in jail. Another accused, Sridhar, was also sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment. The court imposed various amounts of fine on them. The judge said the life terms will run concurrently.
According to the prosecution, Dhanalakshmi, who ran an eatery, forced a 13-year-old government school girl into prostitution. Using her, she also lured another 14-year-old girl into flesh trade. The prosecution said they were handed over to the priest who raped the girls several times before selling them to a gang, who engaged them in flesh trade.
A case was registered against 16 people, including seven women, who played roles in forcing the girls into prostitution. The case, which was registered in 2014, was transferred to the Crime Branch-CID on a Madras High Court order in 2016.