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5-year-old girl allegedly raped on U.S. Embassy grounds in India

An Indian security guard patrols outside the main gate of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, in a September 2012 file photo.  AFP

New Delhi — A five-year-old girl has allegedly been raped in the living quarters for local staff at the U.S. Embassy in India's capital. The victim is the daughter of a member of the housekeeping staff at the embassy.

The 25-year-old man accused of the attack is a neighbor of the victim, police said on Wednesday. He has been arrested and detained pending trial. Both families live on embassy grounds, but the suspect is not a member of the embassy staff. His father is employed by the embassy.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi told CBS News they were "deeply disturbed to learn of allegations of a sexual assault of a child on the Embassy compound." 

"The Embassy took prompt action, including reporting the incident to the police and assisting the alleged victim to obtain medical assistance. We are cooperating with the Indian-led investigation. We extend our sympathy and full support to the child and her family," the spokesperson said.

The incident allegedly took place Saturday morning. According to Delhi police, the girl was playing outside her house when the suspect lured her into his home with cell phone games and then raped her. 

The girl's mother first approached police on Sunday and the victim was taken for a medical examination. Doctors confirmed that she had been raped, according to police.

India has a dismal record of sexual violence against women and girls. Rape laws were toughened amid outrage and protests over the horrific gang rape of a medical student in Delhi in 2012.  

India's women revolt against a culture of rape 02:43

The four men convicted of that fatal gang rape have been sentenced to death by hanging. The executions are set to take place soon, as the men are currently exhausting their final legal options

The tougher rape laws have made little difference on the ground, however. According to government data released last month, the latest available, 34,000 women were raped in India during 2018, which means a rape was reported every 15 minutes on average. 

A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll in 2018 found India ranked on top of the list of the most dangerous countries in the world for women. 

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