KEY POINTS

  • A 23-year-old woman with speech and hearing impairment was allegedly raped by a teenage thief
  • The 18-year-old suspect allegedly stole the woman's phone before fleeing
  • The suspect was arrested after surveillance footage helped police identify him

A 23-year-old woman who suffers from speech and hearing impairment was allegedly raped in the Indian state of Maharashtra earlier this month by a teenage thief, police said Tuesday.

The woman was on her way to work at around 5 a.m. on July 2 when the 18-year-old man, identified as Ashiwin Rathwa, allegedly overpowered her near railway quarters in Kalyan, Thane, and raped her, NDTV reported, citing a statement from police.

Rathwa allegedly also snatched the victim's mobile phone before fleeing, according to the police statement.

The woman — through an interpreter — lodged a complaint following the incident, and a case under sections 376 (rape) and 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code had been registered at MFC police station.

Surveillance camera footage allegedly showed that Rathwa spotted the victim when she walked down a skywalk, which helped police identify him. According to police, five teams had been formed to probe the case.

Rathwa was arrested in the Chhota Udaipur district of the neighboring state of Gujarat Monday afternoon, the NDTV report said. He was remanded in police custody for four days Tuesday, police said.

A similar incident had occurred in late May in a Fontana, California, neighborhood when a man allegedly broke into a 58-year-old disabled woman's home and sexually assaulted her.

Raul Cristopher Alzaga allegedly broke into the elderly paraplegic's home on May 31 by removing window screens and forcing his way into the victim's room, where he sexually assaulted her for hours, according to police.

Alzaga, a documented gang member on felony probation, allegedly also entered another residence in the same block and sexually assaulted another woman, but he was driven off by a family member, police said.

Police arrested Alzaga in the neighboring city of Pomona on June 2. He allegedly tried to cut off his own throat during the encounter.

The elderly woman's family said they were raising money to move her to a new home as she does not feel safe in her current one anymore after the attack.

mobile-605422_1920 Representation. Ashiwin Rathwa, 18, allegedly raped the woman with speech and hearing impairments before stealing her phone and running away. Photo: Pixabay