A court in Texas, United States (US) has sentenced an Indian-American man, Wesley Mathews, to life imprisonment in a case relating to the death of his adopted daughter Sherin Mathews, whose originally name was Saraswati when she was taken from Bihar, reports The Hindu.
Saraswati was adopted by Wesley Mathews and his wife, Sini Mathews from the Mother Teresa Orphanage and Children’s Home in Nalanda district of Bihar. The three-year-old girl’s body was found in an extremely decomposed condition in a garbage bag in a culvert, 15 days after she was reported missing by Wesley Mathews.
He was originally charged with capital murder but accepted a guilty plea of a lesser charge, that of injury to a child by omission. Wesley Mathews claimed that his daughter had ‘accidentally choked’ when he helped her drink her milk.
Prosecutor Sherre Thomas refused to buy his statement, and said that it was medically impossible for a child to get choked in such a manner while standing up. Moreover, she said that medical examination had shown that the girl had five broken bones which were still undergoing healing at the time of her death.
The couple’s biological daughter has also been taken away from them, although Mathews has not been convicted of a charge.
After the case initially burst into the media spotlight in 2017, then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took notice of it and pushed diplomatic efforts to seek justice for the toddler.
Following Saraswati’s death, the Oversees Citizenship of India (OCI) cards of the couple were also revoked by the Indian government.