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Four Men Sentenced to Death for Rape, Murder of Student in India

Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images(NEW DELHI) -- Four Indian men were sentenced to death by hanging on Friday after being convicted earlier this week of raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman on a bus in New Delhi last December.

During the sentencing, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the case "falls in the rarest of rare categories and warrants the exemplary punishment of death," according to the BBC.

The case made international headlines and acted as tipping point for the cavalier way female victims of sexual assault are treated in India.

In the culture, women are often blamed for inciting sex attacks and are encouraged to either dress less provocatively or remain in their homes.

However, the death of the physiotherapy student sparked such outrage that police and lawmakers are now taking a tougher stance in going after the alleged sex offenders.

Khanna, the BBC reports, said the attack "shocked the collective conscience" of India.  He added that "courts cannot turn a blind eye" to crimes of this nature.

Six men were actually arrested for the attack, with one killing himself in jail and another charged as a juvenile.  The other four were found guilty on Tuesday of 13 counts that included rape, murder and kidnapping.

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