A 58-year-old man was today sentenced to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment by a special court here for allegedly sexually harassing eight children in an orphanage run by him at a village in Tuticorin district in 2012. Judge Abdul Khader of Protection of Civil Rights court sentenced Stephen Joseph to 14 years rigorous imprisonment and also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on him besides directing him to pay Rs one lakh to each of the eight girls. Joseph had been running the orphanage with 41 inmates, including 23 girls, at Mookuperi near Nazareth in Tuticorin. He was arrested on January 19, 2012 following a complaint against him and booked under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), among others and Section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act and Section 3(1)XII of SC/ST Act. When the case came up for hearing today, the court heard the evidence of witnesses and sentenced Joseph to 14 years.
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