Ramdular Gond, who represents Duddhi constituency in Sonbhadra district, was found guilty by a special court on Tuesday and sent to judicial custody.
The court will announce the quantum of punishment on December 15, which could range from 10 years to life imprisonment.
The case dates back to November 4, 2014, when Gond, who was then the husband of the village head, allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl multiple times by threatening her.
The girl’s brother lodged a complaint with the Myorpur police station under sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 5L/6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The trial of the case was initially going on in the POCSO court, but after Gond became an MLA in 2017, the case was transferred to the MP-MLA court.
The prosecution presented the original school certificate of the victim, along with the statement of the school principal and investigator to prove that the girl was a minor at the time of the incident.
The defence lawyer, Ramvriksh Tiwari, however, argued that the girl was not a minor and a fake birth certificate of the girl was produced before the court to show that she was above 18 years of age. But the court rejected his arguments and convicted Gond based on the evidence and testimonies of witnesses.
The conviction of Gond has sparked a controversy in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP is in power. The opposition parties are demanding the expulsion of Gond from the assembly. The BJP, however, said it will wait for the final verdict of the court before taking any action against Gond.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Uttar Pradesh recorded 7,444 cases of rape of children in 2020, accounting for 18.4% of the total cases in India.
The state also topped the list of crimes against women, with 59,853 cases registered in 2020.