An Indian court has convicted three men for gang-raping an American tourist in June, an attack that prompted the U.S. to issue an advisory warning its citizens of the dangers involved in traveling to the South Asian nation. The men were sentenced to 20-year prison terms, said Vinod Kumar Dhawan, who headed the police team investigating the assault at a popular destination for backpackers in north India.
Tuesday’s judgment came a day after the one-year anniversary of another gang rape–a brutal assault on a New Delhi bus in which the victim died of her injuries. Four men were convicted on charges of murder and rape and sentenced to death in that case, which triggered a bout of national soul-searching about the treatment of women in India.
In response to nationwide protests calling for better safety and harsher laws after that attack, India overhauled its criminal code, raising punishments for rape as well as criminalized offenses such as stalking and voyeurism. District Attorney Mahesh Sen, who led prosecution for the American woman, a Californian native, said he had asked for life imprisonment. The men, who are all citizens of Nepal and in their early 20s, were given lighter sentences because of their ages, he said.
“Still, I welcome the court’s decision,” he said. “The swift judgment in the case is a message to the world that violence against foreign nationals will not be tolerated.”