The Indian Express is reporting on a spate of exploitation cases that have surfaced after a number of Indian men in Pune, Maharashta, who have been robbed and coerced into sex—often without protection —by men they met on the gay dating site Planet Romeo.
Because many of the victims are not out in the culturally conservative nation, their options for justice are limited.
“The pattern in these cases is that when a victim becomes a member of this gay dating site, some men use this site to get in touch with the victim, establish rapport with him and subsequently demand financial favours,” explains Bindumadhav Khire, coordinator for the Samapathik Trust, an LGBT resource in this city of just over three million. “They then steal cash and valuables from the victim’s house or forcibly try to have sex with the victim [sometimes without protection].”
While the police are responsible for investigating any and all crimes, many victims shun them, fearing that the publicity would be far worse than the crime itself.