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Indian filmmaker jailed for raping US graduate student

Associated Press Associated Press 4/08/2016

Mahmood Farooqui attends the 'Peepli Live' premiere during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 24, 2010 in Park City, Utah. © (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images) Mahmood Farooqui attends the 'Peepli Live' premiere during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 24, 2010 in Park City, Utah. NEW DELHI (AP) — A New Delhi court on Thursday sentenced an Indian filmmaker to seven years in prison in the rape of an American graduate student last year.

Mahmood Farooqui, a Bollywood director, writer and theater performer, can appeal the verdict within 30 days.

Farooqui was convicted last week after the woman complained that he was drunk and raped her at his house in the Indian capital where she had gone for help with her thesis research. Farooqui denied the allegation.

The American woman moved to Delhi in June 2014 and was looking for contacts for her work. She came in contact with Farooqui through a common friend, the New Delhi Television news channel said.

He is married to screenwriter Anusha Rizvi, who in 2010 directed "Peepli Live," a popular satire which dealt with farmer suicides. Farooqui was a co-director.

Farooqui, in his 40s, had been on bail but was sent to prison after his conviction by Judge Sanjiv Jain last Thursday.

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.

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