Free Press Journal

Minor girl says she was ‘sold’ to Goa MLA for Rs 50 lakh


Panaji: The minor girl who has accused the former Goa education minister and expelled Congress MLA Atanasio Monserratte of rape has told police that her stepmother and another man ‘sold’ her to the MLA for Rs 50 lakh.

Monserratte, yet to be arrested, today appeared before the Crime Branch here, a day after the Goa police registered an FIR against him.

The complaint, filed with Panaji police station and later transferred to the Women Police Station, says the accused hatched a conspiracy and allegedly sold the girl to Monserratte in March this year for sexual exploitation.

Monserratte kept her in confinement, administered some stupefying substance and had sexual intercourse with her several times without her consent, it says.

Monserratte returned to Goa today and appeared before the crime branch, accompanied by his wife Jeniffer, who is the MLA from Taleigao constituency.

Police have registered a case against him under sections 376 (rape), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 342 (wrongful confinement), 370 (A) (exploitation of trafficked person) of the Indian Penal Code, the provisions of Goa Children Act and also the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Monserratte claimed it was a political conspiracy.

“I have not done anything wrong. The complaint is totally false and bogus. This is just to frame me,” he told the reporters.

According to the MLA, he had hired the girl to work at the Hallmark showroom owned by him after meeting her parents, who are the registered voters from his constituency, but later sacked her for stealing.

Police today also conducted searches at various places, including an apartment owned by Monserratte.