Usman Mirza, the man who sexually assaulted and filmed a couple in Islamabad, has been sentenced to life imprisonment along with five co-accused in the case.
The verdict was announced on Friday by Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani. Usman Mirza had been charged with sexually assaulting and forcing a couple to strip while recording the incident on video, later uploading it to social media.
The state had decided to pursue the case, despite the fact that both victims had recanted their statement earlier this year, claiming that police had fabricated the entire incident. Then, the admissibility of the video evidence was questioned, as the sub-inspector on the case told the court that police had been unable to locate any eye witnesses to the crime.
In July last year, a shocking clip of several men, including Usman Mirza, holding a couple at gunpoint and assaulting them while forcing them to strip went viral on social media. The couple were reportedly forced to engage in intercourse, with the perpetrators threatening to gang-rape the woman if they did not comply. The woman was also forced to perform a strip-tease before the men, and was beaten for resisting their demands. Mirza had reportedly attempted to blackmail and extort the couple out of hundreds of thousands of rupees. The crime sparked outrage across the country.