A would-be YouTube star with a psychopathic sense of humor is facing justice for a supposedly funny video, in which he "pranked" random women by kissing them without consent. Sumit Verma, a.k.a. "The Crazy Sumit," recorded the video in Delhi, India's capital. After he released it, he saw such swift and vicious backlash that he quickly deleted it and apologized. But unfortunately for him, what he did in the video was a crime, and by uploading it, he had given the police video evidence. Now, he could face up to a year in prison.
Although Verma's original upload has been deleted, copies still exist online. Watching it, it's hard to believe this was supposed to be a joke. In the video, Verma can be seen approaching a woman and engaging her in conversation, even though she's visibly uncomfortable. After a few seconds, he leans in and kisses her, then runs away. The woman tries to chase him until he hops a fence—then the camera holds on her for a few seconds as she cries into her hands.
In the next segment, Verma approaches a couple walking together. He stops them both, then sprays something (possibly shaving cream) in the man's eyes while he kisses the woman. Then, in his signature move, he runs away as fast as he can.
Again, these crimes are presented as a joke in the video, which also includes a button encouraging viewers to like Verma's page on Facebook. Perhaps he was inspired by other YouTubers who have found fame by releasing videos of tasteless pranks "gone wrong," but those stunts were not illegal. It's a crucial mistake that could cost him his freedom.
On January 5, Verma uploaded this apology image to Facebook.
But the commenters were not having it.
Sexual assault has become a heated issue in India in recent years, with staggering numbers of incidents going unreported. Those that are reported are often not prosecuted. As of press time, the Delhi Police are still investigating Verma's case.