On Tuesday, a group of lawyers infuriated at 18 men accused of repeatedly raping a disabled 12-year-old girl in Chennai, India, attacked the men after their court appearances.
Part of the attack was caught on tape; the video showed the lawyers dragging one of the men down a flight of stairs and beating him up as he pleaded for mercy. Police tried to stop the attack, but they were outnumbered by the lawyers.
The accused men, who worked in the girl’s apartment complex as elevator operators, plumbers or security guards, allegedly sedated the girl with spiked soft drinks, then transported her to vacant apartments in the complex where they raped her and often filmed the assaults over a period of seven months. The crime was reportedly videotaped by the accused perpetrators, who later blackmailed the victim threatening to release the video online.
The girl’s ordeal finally came to light after she told her elder sister that her stomach was hurting her; the elder sister told the their parents. Chennai Police told the New Indian Express, “She told her sister that she was raped, sometimes even gang-raped, by the men working in the apartment they lived in.” The girl’s mother told the police on July 15.