Mahim murder case: Teen who killed musician alleges he abused other girls too

Updated: 10 December, 2019 08:47 IST | Faizan Khan, Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

As teen alleges that Bennett Rebello abused other girls too and his lawyer claims he recently wanted to adopt 'the child of a woman who was in trouble', Crime Branch investigators widen their probe

Bennett Rebello
Bennett Rebello

The Crime Branch investigation into musician Bennett Rebello's murder case has thrown up details that suggest he might have been sexually abusing girls by luring them with his wealth. Aradhya alias Ria's statement points to this possibility. Also, according to his lawyer, eight months ago, he had wanted to adopt the child of a woman 'who was in trouble'.

According to Rebello's lawyer, Rohini Shirodkar, he had contacted her eight months ago, saying he wanted to adopt a child. "He enquired about the process of adopting a child from a woman who is in trouble but he didn't name her. After that he did not approach or call me again," Shirodkar said.

"I read about his murder in the papers. He was a gentleman and used to help the needy. He owns several properties, some of them he wanted to sell. He used to consult me for legal advice," she added.

Aradhya Patil alias RiaAradhya Patil alias Ria

Aradhya submitted a letter dated May 22, 2018 and signed by her as proof of her adoption by Rebello. The plain paper, a copy of which she claims was submitted Vakola police, read: "My name is Aradhya Patil, my name is Ria, my age is 19 years and I am born on 21st July 2001. I used to live with my father, mother, brother and sister. I, Aradhya Patil, have requested Mr Rebello (59) for humanitarian help including education, shelter, food and he was kind enough. Mr Rebello requested me to submit the details at the (Vakola) police station. Mr Rebello agreed that he will help. I have also furnished the details and have taken the details of Mr Rebello from my (female) friend. She told me that Mr Rebello will help; she (the female friend) has two-month-old baby and she is 20-year-old. I request the police for giving me the permission and ask the police to keep the record regarding my stay with Mr Rebello (sic)."

A senior crime branch officer said that the submission of the letter is being verified with the Vakola police.

Bag containing Rebello’s body parts which washed ashore near MahimBag containing Rebello's body parts which washed ashore near Mahim

"Prima facie, it seems that the girl was not aware of the adoption process and hence believed the deceased. It was why she assumed that she would be the legal heir of Rebello's property if he dies," the officer said.

Bennett Rebello’s Santacruz residence. FILE PICBennett Rebello's Santacruz residence. File pic

After the recovery of the 'adoption document', Crime Branch sleuths have started probing the mystery from the two angles of sexual abuse and property. "Accused has also claimed that there are other girls including her friend who have been sexually abused by Rebello in a similar way. We will record this friend's statement," the officer said. In her statement, Aradhya has said that the girl who introduced her to Rebello two years ago had also been allegedly sexually exploited by him. This friend of hers used to live with Rebello before she got married in April 2018.

Boyfriend provoked Aradhya

According to sources, Aradhya never had the intention of eliminating Rebello as she had a secure life with all basic comforts, including monetary help, shelter and food after she was disowned by her family who stay in Asalfa near Ghatkopar.

Bennett RebelloBennett Rebello

During her interrogation, Aradhya admitted that when she told her boyfriend about the sexual abuse by Rebello, the teenage boy got angry and kept pushing her to kill him. "The minor boy started visiting Aradhya frequently, which did not go down well with Rebello, who always opposed them meeting. The boy then started emotionally blackmailing Aradhya and pushed her to join him in killing Rebello," said an officer privy to the investigation.

May 22, 2018
Date of the adoption letter given by Aradhya to Vakola police

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First Published: 10 December, 2019 07:10 IST

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