Goa legislator booked for raping minor

Panaji: Goa’s former education minister and unattached legislator Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate has been booked for allegedly raping a minor girl from his assembly constituency, police sources said on Wednesday.

Monserrate has, however, denied the accusation, claiming that the FIR, which was filed against him on Wednesday evening was a conspiracy against him.

According to a complaint filed at the Panaji police station, the minor girl said Monserrate raped her on more than one occasion, after he employed her some weeks back at a lifestyle store owned by him.

“The complaint was filed under 376 of the Indian Penal Code today (Wednesday) and relevant sections of the Goa Children’s Act,” a police official familiar with the investigation told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Monserrate told IANS that the police complaint was a conspiracy against him.

“I had hired this girl to work in my Hallmark store because her parents came to me to look for a job. But she stole some money from the store cash counter and I had sacked her. This complaint is false. There is no question of my getting intimate with her,” Monserrate said.

Monserrate was elected to the St. Cruz constituency on a Congress ticket, but was sacked from the party after he started hobnobbing with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

He has been booked in the past for extortion. His son Rohit, was also arrested for allegedly raping a minor German girl five years back, but was later acquitted.