A special judge for trial of offences under the POCSO Act on Tuesday awarded the death penalty to an accused in the rape and murder case of a seven-year-old girl in Vijayawada city.
The crime occurred in November last year at Gollapudi and the accused Barlapudi Pentaiah was arrested within 24 hours.
A case under various IPC sections and the POCSO Act was registered against him.
Police nailed Pentaiahs guilt through DNA analysis and filed the charge sheet. Though the trial was completed in March, delivery of the judgment got delayed due to the coronavirus-imposed lockdown.
As many as 35 witnesses, including the accused's wife, testified.
The 5thadditional district-cum-special judge for trial of offences under POCSO Act delivered the verdict on Tuesday and sentenced the accused to death, a release from the DGPs office said.
This was the 18thsuch conviction the police secured after new initiatives were launched for protection of women and children in the state since December 2019, the release said.