Panaji: In a major setback to the prosecution, a local court on Monday acquitted a Goa politician, who was accused of raping a 25-year-old Russian tourist in 2009.
The District and Sessions court in Margao on Monday pronounced the accused John Fernandes, who was chargesheeted for raping the foreigner, not guilty of the crime.
As per the chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch, John had raped the woman on December 1, 2009 in his car by offering her lift from Colva beach to her room back in Benaulim, located 5 kms away from Margao.
The victim had alleged that John spiked her drink and took advantage of the situation. John had met the victim and another Russian woman at Colva beach.
He had unsuccessfully contested the 2007 Goa legislative Assembly election on Save Goa Front (SGF) ticket from Benaulim constituency and was absconding for over one month after the case was registered.
He had surrendered before crime branch on January 6, 2010.
Police had registered a case under section 376 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code for rape and destruction of evidence.    

The case was transferred to Crime Branch after Colva police conducted initial investigations.