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British tourist jumps out of hotel, says she was trying to escape sex assault

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

NEW DELHI — On a day when lawmakers discussed a new anti-rape law, a British tourist jumped off a balcony of her hotel room to escape being sexually assaulted by the hotel owner in Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, police said on Tuesday.

The tourist fractured her leg when she jumped from the second floor.

Subhash Chand Dubey, a senior police officer, told reporters in Agra that the owner knocked on her door at 4 a.m., offered her a massage and refused to leave, even after she declined.

The hotel owner then tried to enter her room forcibly with a security guard, and the tourist jumped off the balcony to escape, Dubey said.

Dubey said the hotel owner has been arrested.

The incident occurred three days after a Swiss woman was gang raped while she was bicycling through central India with her husband.

In spite of the huge nationwide protest against the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi in December, as well as government efforts to pass tougher laws, the number of rape incidents continues to rise.

“We are today facing an epidemic in this country. Let's come to terms with that first,” said Pinaki Misra, a member of Parliament, as lawmakers discussed new anti-rape legislation that seeks to not only make punishment tougher, but also widen the definition of sexual assault to include stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks on women. “We are now called the rape capital of the world. What has happened to us?”

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