BJP’s Panaji MLA to go on trial in 2016 teenager’s rape case

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - [email protected] times­group.com

Panaji: The North Goa district and ses­sions court on Thurs­day or­dered BJP’s Panaji MLA, Atana­sio Mon­ser­rate, to stand trial for al­legedly rap­ing a teenaged girl in 2016 and framed charges against him un­der the strin­gent Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren from Sex­ual Of­fences Act (Pocso) Act. The trial will be­gin from Oc­to­ber 17.

Mon­ser­rate, pop­u­larly known as Babush, is the first sit­ting MLA in Goa to face charges un­der Pocso. He has been charged with rape, wrong­ful con­fine­ment and crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion.

The sur­vivor had al­leged in May 2016 that she was drugged and raped by the then St Cruz MLA, Mon­ser­rate, on March 6, 2016. Af­ter the com­plaint, Mon­ser­rate had sur­ren­dered be­fore the crime branch and was re­leased on con­di­tional bail.

The Goa po­lice had filed a 250-page chargeshee­t in July 2018 and listed 40 wit­nesses.

While the sur­vivor had al­leged in her com­plaint that her mother had sold her to Mon­ser­rate for Rs 50 lakh, the po­lice did not find ev­i­dence to name her mother as an ac­cused.

Charges were also framed against Rosaria, alias Rosy Fer­ros, a res­i­dent of Caran­za­lem who is ac­cused of abet­ting the crime.

Af­ter the court or­dered trial, Mon­ser­rate said Mon­ser­rate would come clean and would not chal­lenge the or­der of the district court.

Mon­ser­rate, a for­mer min­is­ter, wields con­sid­er­able in­flu­ence over three assem­bly con­stituen­cies of Tiswadi taluka. Amid the cam­paign for the May 19 by­poll, the sur­vivor had gone miss­ing in April-end from a pro­tec­tive home run by avol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion. But a day af­ter the by­poll she mys­te­ri­ously resur­faced and is cur­rently in a state-run pro­tec­tive home. The child wel­fare com­mit­tee has cus­tody.

Atana­sio ‘Babush’ Mon­ser­rate is the first sit­ting MLA in Goa to face charges un­der Pocso

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