A 72-year-old Vasai resident who is accused of raping the 13-year-old daughter of his domestic help last year and had fled the country afterwards, was arrested by the police on Tuesday from the Mumbai international airport on his arrival from the United States. Martin Lopez, who retired as a bank manager, had a pending red corner notice (RCN) issued against him by the Interpol on the request of the police.
A RCN warrants the detention or arrest of a subject globally. According to the police, Lopez returned after the US authorities warned him to return to India or he would be deported otherwise. Sources said Lopez was staying with his son in the US.
According to the police, Lopez had fled the country last October after the survivor’s family reported him to the Vasai Waliv police. He allegedly first raped the minor after spiking a cold drink he had given her, and then continued to rape her over a course of six months. The survivor delivered a baby boy this January.
Deputy superintendent of police, Vasai–Virar, Anil Aakade said, “As we came to know the accused fled to USA, we initiated communication with the Interpol. We tried to obtain his whereabouts in USA and were in constant touch with the Interpol.”
After knowing his US address, the US police directed the accused to fly to India as soon as possible. Acting on the directive of the US authorities, Lopez left USA on Saturday. The US police had informed the Waliv Police about Lopez’s scheduled journey to Mumbai, after which he was nabbed on his arrival. Lopez was produced in the Vasai court on Tuesday and remanded in police custody till Saturday.
“We have taken blood samples of the accused to match the DNAs of the rape survivor and new born. The samples are at Kalina Forensic laboratories, we are waiting for the results,” Mr Aakade added.
The rape survivor’s brother, who is 21, said, “We are hoping for severe punishment to this man so that it serves as a lesson to society. Such anti-social elements like him, who spoilt my sister’s life at a very young age, should not be spared.”
The rape survivor used to assist her mother in her work at Lopez’s house. At times, she also filled in for her.
In September 2016, when she was asked to work at Lopez’s home during her Ganpati festival holidays, the girl refused and broke down, and told her mother of Lopez’s alleged sexual assaults.