Goa Police on Thursday recorded the statement of the minor girl, who was allegedly raped by expelled Congress legislator Atanasio Monserratte in March. The MLA on Thursday surrendered before the Crime Branch of Goa Police. “A team of officials from Women’s police station visited the state-run protective home where the girl is currently lodged and recorded her statement,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The victim had recorded her statement before Child Welfare Committee wherein she had alleged that Monserratte has raped her several times in the past. The details of the statement were, however, not revealed by the police.An FIR was registered by Panaji police on Wednesday in this connection but it was handed over to Women police station last night.Superintendent of Police (Women police station) Karthik Kashyap told PTI that Monserratte has been booked under section 3,4 of POSCO Act, and relevant sections of the IPC and Goa Children’s Act. Monserratte, who represents St Cruz constituency, was out of town when the case was booked against him yesterday. He had claimed that the case against him was “politically motivated”.”The girl was working in my showroom and I had dismissed her for misappropriation of funds. This is a conspiracy against me,” he had said.Monserratte’s family members maintained that he is innocent and is being “framed”.”He will depose before the Investigating Agency once he is back in Goa. He does not want to run away from the law. He is innocent and is framed,” a family member said.”The offence of human trafficking is also registered against Monserratte and stepmother of the girl at Women’s Police Station. The girl in her statement before Child Welfare Committee of state-run Apna Ghar (protective home) has claimed that Monserratte had purchased her from her stepmother,” a senior police official said on condition of anonymity.Kashyap, however, refused to comment on developments in the case. Earlier, the Goa police recorded the girl’s statement.”A team of officials from Women’s police station visited the state-run protective home where the girl is currently lodged and recorded her statement,” the official had earlier said.In her statement before Child Welfare Committee, she had alleged that Monserratte has raped her several times in the past. The legislator, who represents St Cruz constituency, was expelled from Congress recently for anti-party activities.When contacted, his wife Jeniffer, who represents the Taleigao constituency, refused to comment on the case.Meanwhile, the state Congress also refrained from commenting on the case, but advised media against character assassination.”The legislator should come out with his statement on this matter as the charges are serious. Until and unless things are proved one cannot do any character assassination. I also appeal to media not to indulge in this,” Congress state secretary Durgadas Kamat told PTI.”Let law take its own course. If he is guilty, I am sure he will abide by the law,” he said.”With BJP ruling in the state and elections approaching, anything can happen in the state. It is better that the matter should be fast-tracked and things come out clear in public,” Kamat said.”The medical examination has also been conducted on her at Goa Medical College and Hospital which is positive,” a senior official said.

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Rape of minor by Goa MLA: Atanasio Monserratte surrenders before crime branch