A 21-year-old collegian walked into Khar police station on Friday and registered a case of rape against her 41-year-old stepfather.
Andrew Fernandes, a driver by profession, was arrested the next morning and a Bandra court sent him to police custody till Monday.
Hindustan Times accessed the victim’s police statement in which she narrated how the man, who promised to take care of her family after her father passed away when she was just 12, allegedly raped her for six years till she mustered the courage to say “no”.
Excerpts of the statement:
“When I was 10 years old my father, who was working in the Gulf, returned home. A year later, his friend Andrew Fernandes also returned to India. Fernandes would often visit us.
When my father suspected my mother of having an affair with Fernandes, my mother deserted him [my father] in 1995 and Fernandes moved in with us.
In 2000, my father died. My mother and Fernandes got married the same year. I was 12 years old and my younger sister was seven.
It was then that the nightmare started. Fernandes raped me several times over a period of six years. I could not gather the courage to oppose my stepfather or tell anyone, though I tried to resist.
My mother gave birth to another girl in 2006.
By then Fernandes would come home occasionally and stopped helping us financially too. So, my mother started working as a domestic help to support us.
When I turned 18, I decided to put an end to the ordeal, and stopped speaking to him. Whenever he tried to touch me I resisted but could not tell anyone as he threatened to torture my mother and sisters.
I stopped going to school after Class 9 and appeared for my SSC and HSC board exams privately. I decided to pursue my studies for the sake of my mother and sisters.
This year I started going to college and made friends for the first time in my life.
On Friday, when I was talking to my professor, I broke down. I told her, without getting into details, that my stepfather has been raping me since I was 12. She brought me to the police station.”