Notable Filmmaker Imprisoned For Rape Of American Grad Student

On Thursday, filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui was sentenced to seven years in prison for the rape of an American Graduate student last year.

The Bollywood filmmaker, director, writer, and performer stood before the court in New Delhi to learn the verdict in the case against him, and as the Associated Press shares, he can appeal the verdict within 30 days.

The director was convicted on the charges last week following the complaint of the American who said she had gone to Farooqui’s house for help on her thesis research when he reportedly was drunk and raped her.

The Business Standard shares the exact details that were relayed by the victim during the trial in the case against Farooqui.

“According to the police chargesheet, the woman, who reached his house at 9 pm, found Farooqui was very intoxicated, and he asked her to go to the other room which was his office. After 20 minutes, she left the office room to smoke in the porch when he told her to come in and sit down. After talking with her for a while, he suddenly kissed her and forced himself on her, the prosecution said, adding that the woman was scared after the incident.”

During the trial, the American researcher stood by her complaint and alleged that Farooqui had raped her, while he denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated. Although the defendant denied the allegations against him, as The Times of India shares, initially Farooqui apologized via email to the victim.

“The case relates to the March 28, 2015 rape of a 35-year-old American, a student at New York’s Columbia University, who was in the Capital for research work on her doctoral thesis. During her deposition as a prosecution witness in the court, the woman alleged that Farooqui raped her and later apologised via several e-mails exchanged between them. Farooqui denied the allegations and said he was falsely implicated.”

As the AP states, the woman had moved to the Indian capital in June of 2014 and was looking for contacts for work purposes. She was introduced to Farooqui through a mutual friend.

The defendant is married to Anusha Rizvi, a screenwriter who directed Peepli Live in 2010, which is a popular satirical film that focused on farmer suicides. Farooqui acted as co-director on the film.

Farooqui, who is in his 40, was out on bail since he was charged with the crime, but upon learning of his conviction, Farooqui was then sent to jail last Thursday by Judge Sanjiv Jain.

The police shared with the publication that the charges filed against the filmmaker on June 29 alleged he had raped the 35-year-old American at his Sukhdev Vihar residence. Farooqui was also accused by police of destroying evidence against him.

The publication spoke out about the ongoing issue this case sheds light on in India.

“The case highlights the persistence of violence against women in India despite the outcry and stronger laws that followed the December 2012 fatal gang rape of a woman on a bus in New Delhi.”

Rape and violence against women continues on as a regular and daily occurrence in many regions of India. Although attention was paid to the rape of a girl who was attacked on a bus in 2012, attacks seem to continue and the justice system is reported to work very slowly, as Variety shares.

[Photo by Brynn Anderson/AP Images]