Goa MLA accused of raping minor gets bail

Panaji: A Goa court on Wednesday granted conditional bail to legislator Atanasio Monserrate, who has been accused of allegedly "buying" and raping a minor girl in March. The Goa Children's Court president Pramod Kamat also granted conditional bail to the victim's mother and the pimp, both of whom were arrested for conspiring to "sell" the minor girl to Monserrate, according to the First Information Report filed by the Crime Branch. While releasing Monserrate, an unattached legislator from the St. Cruz constituency, the Court directed him to furnish a personal surety of Rs.1 lakh, surrender his passport to the court and report to the Crime Branch every day for the next week. Speaking to reporters outside the Court premises in Panaji, after being released on bail, Monserrate insisted that he was innocent and the complaint was a political conspiracy.  "I know who is behind this and I will expose the person at the right time," Monserrate said. Monserrate, a major political player in Goa's political scene, was arrested on May 5 for allegedly drugging, raping and "purchasing" a minor girl for Rs.50 lakh allegedly from a pimp, Rosy Ferros, who had in turn allegedly "purchased" her from her mother. According to the complaint filed by the victim before the Women's Police station, the minor girl alleged that she was repeatedly raped by Monserrate at his farmhouse located near Panaji in March.