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India sentences 24 men to prison for raping teen held for several weeks after 1996 kidnapping

An attorney says one man was sentenced to life and 23 others to varying prison terms for raping a teenager who was kidnapped and held for several weeks in southern India 18 years ago.

Defense attorney Anella George says the high court in Ernakulam town in Kerala state sentenced 23 men to 7 to 11 years in prison on Friday.

The 16-year-old victim was abducted in 1996 and raped in homes, hotels, cars and public buses by the convicts over the next one and a half months. Her attackers included a retired professor, lawyers, businessmen and government officials.

A court had acquitted all but one of the accused in 2005. But India's top court ordered a retrial last year.