Panaji, May 18: Nearly a fortnight after his arrest on charges of buying and raping a minor girl, Goa MLA Atanasio Monserratte was on Wednesday (May 18) granted bail by a local court and said he will "expose those who framed" him at the "right time".
District and Sessions Judge Pramod Kamat granted bail to Monserratte, and also the girl's mother and another woman, Rosy Ferros, arrested for allegedly selling the victim to the MLA for Rs 50 lakh.
After he was granted bail, Monserratte told reporters that, "I will expose the people who are behind this. I am out on bail right now.
I want to get cleared of the charges first. I will expose them at the right time." The St Cruz legislator said people bestowed faith in him by electing him to the Legislative Assembly and he will never betray their trust. "I am fixed and framed," he claimed outside the court here, repeating his charge before getting into his private vehicle.
Several of his supporters were present in the court today during the hearing of his bail plea. Monserratte later drove to Mahalaxmi temple in the city where he offered prayers before heading home.
A crowd also gathered at the temple when he went to pray there. The St Cruz legislator has been asked by the court to furnish bail amount of Rs one lakh and a surety of the like amount. He has been asked to appear before Crime Branch for next seven days.
The two other accused women were asked to furnish bail amount of Rs 25,000 each and sureties of the like amount. They were also asked to report to the Crime Branch for seven days.
The legislator, who had been expelled from Congress last year, was arrested on May 5. Goa police is investigating the case against Monserratte who has been booked for allegedly buying the 16-year-old girl and raping her in March.
He was booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 328 (poisoning), 342 (wrongful confinement), 370 (A) (trafficking), provisions of Goa Children Act and Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.