NEW DELHI (AP) — A juvenile court ruled Monday that a suspect in the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi last month was a juvenile at the time of the attack.
A lawyer present in the court said a magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board announced the decision after going over documents presented to the court by officials of the suspect’s elementary school that indicated that he was under 18 years of age at the time of the Dec. 16 attack.
The lawyer could not be named because he was not authorized to brief media. The lawyer said that the suspect’s school documents showed him to be about six months short of his 18th birthday at the time of the attack.
The suspect did not possess a birth certificate — a common occurrence in India where many babies are born at home and not in a hospital. In such cases, school records are often used as proof of age or identity.
The suspect, who is not being identified by The Associated Press because of his age, could face three years in a reform facility if he is convicted as a juvenile. A conviction as an adult could have led to his execution.
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