The lawyer for three of the five men accused of raping and murdering a young Indian student will argue she asked for it by being out at night with a male friend.
"Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady," said Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer for the attorney representing the bus driver, his brother, and another man on the bus. They plan to plead innocent, Sharma told Bloomberg.
"Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect."
It was the kind of argument most often made in cases when the victim and the rapist know each other, not a random attack by complete strangers.
Sharma also said, in a seemingly contradictory statement, "Whoever committed this heinous crime should be punished but my clients are not the real culprits. There have been reports that the other two adults accused in the Dec. 16 attack will testify against them.
"We are only hearing what the police are saying. This is manipulated evidence. It's all on the basis of hearsay and presumption."
Sharma told the magistrate police had beaten confessions from the defendants, Sky News reported.
"They (the police) have used the third degree to extract the statement that suits the evidence they have collected. "My clients have been forced to confess to crimes that they did not commit."
Police declined to comment. Sharma appeared to be disregarding a court gag order. Sky News of Britain and most other foreign news organizations likely believe it does not apply to them.
The Times of India reported sources said all three of Sharma’s clients were among those named by the victim when she was questioned by a magistrate. She wrote their names down, and said she had heard them using their names before the attack.
The New Delhi police, meanwhile began posting signs urging female girl students to go straight home after school and not to go out without informing their parents.
Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan, before a gag order was issued, said a DNA test confirmed that the blood of the victim matched blood stains found on the clothes of all the accused, according to CBC News.
Sharma’s comments echoed some made in US Senate races by Republican candidates about what constitutes a “legitimate rape.”
The five men, and one juvenile, are accused of raping Jyoti Singh Pandey and brutally beating her and her male friend with an iron rod. She was so seriously injured the Indian government flew her to Singapore to be treated at an elite hospital. She died there, but India avoided having her die in Delhi.
Her male friend told Zee News: "The attack was so brutal I can't even tell you ... even animals don't behave like that.”
It will be difficult for the outside world to know what happened in the attack because the Indian court system has closed the trial to the media and public.
They are using the fact that is a rape trial to make it confidential, even though the victim is dead and it is also a murder trial.
The rape led to nationwide protests, and has sparked vigils and rallies around the world. Supporters of the victim have created Facebook pages in her honor.
The savagery of the attack has surprised a world used to just about everything. The iron rod was used to pull part of the victim’s intestines out.
At the same, the case in Steubenville, Ohio, involving two teen football team members, reminds that rape is not just an Indian problem.