The security head of a private trust in Mahalaxmi was arrested by the police for allegedly raping a woman repeatedly over five months after blackmailing her with a video clip.
Datta Kothavale, 38, was arrested near Mumbai Central railway station on Thursday night. A 35-year-old woman had approached the Gamdevi police on November 8, along with her husband, to register a complaint. The victim, who resides in Parel, used to assist her husband at a coconut stall near Mahalaxmi temple. She met Kothavale at the stall and exchanged phone numbers with him.
“Kothavale asked the victim to come to a guest house in Parel under the pretext of introducing her to his family. There, he spiked her drink and made an obscene video clip. He then used to call the victim and blackmail her into coming to the same guest house, and rape her,” said Manoj Hegiste, assistant inspector of Gamdevi police station.
A few days ago, the victim’s husband suspected foul play and confronted her at the guest house. The victim narrated her ordeal to him, who then decided to report the matter.
“Soon after the complaint was lodged, we went to Kothavale’s residence in Kamothe but he was not there. However, on Thursday we received information that Kothavale was at Mumbai Central,” said Pradip Lonandkar, senior inspector of Gamdevi police station.
Kothavale was arrested under sections 376 (rape) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) of the IPC. “We are trying to retrieve the clip from his mobile phone,” said Ravindra Gambre, assistant police inspector.
D Mulki, manager of TG Pavillion Trust said, “Kothavale has been employed with us since the last five years and no complaint has been filed against him in the past. We don’t know anything about the incident which has happened outside our premises.”