Senior citizen charged over child abuse, thanks to viral video

senior-citizen-abusePETALING JAYA: A 62-year-old woman claimed trial at the Sessions Court here for abusing a girl in Puchong last year, with the said offence caught on video being widely-shared on social media only recently.

V Tanawali was charged under Section 31(1)(b) of the Child Act for abusing the six-year-old girl by using a “rotan” (cane) on the child’s face, body and limbs. The senior citizen is believed to be the girl’s grandaunt.

Tanawali was said to have committed the particular offence caught on video, in September last year at Taman Puchong Perdana.

If convicted, she will face a maximum fine of RM50,000 or maximum 20 years in prison, or both.

The charge was read to Tanawali in Tamil.

Sessions Court judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar granted bail of RM10,000 with a surety, and fixed the next mention on July 14.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Suloshani Vijendran asked the court not to impose a bail on the senior citizen due to the seriousness of the offence.

However, lawyer Suraj Singh urged the court to allow for bail as there is no flight risk on Tanawali.

He also said that she is diabetic and had a bone fracture on her leg which needed regular treatment in hospital.

Early last week, a two-minute 49-second video surfaced showing a woman forcing a child to stop eating before hitting the girl with a wooden stick or a “rotan” (cane).

Scolding the child in Tamil while continuing with the beatings, the woman had accused the girl of spilling food from her plate.

In the midst of the beatings, with the child screaming in pain and gasping in between her cries, the woman even changed the girl’s top, but not before throwing in a few slaps and a kick as well.

Knowing her brutal abuse was being recorded, the woman dared the person taking the video to send it to the media. The identity of the person who did the recording is not known.

The police acted swiftly in arresting the woman the next day.