Father Mathew Surrenders Before Kollam Crime Branch In Kerela Church Rape Case

| July 12 , 2018 , 15:48 IST

Father Joseph Mathew surrendered before the Kollam Crime Branch on Thursday. The priest is one of the four accused in the case relating to the sexual assault of women on the pretext of her confessions at the Malankara Orthodox Church.

Father Mathew is the second accused in the case. The Kerela Police Crime Branch has named four priests as accused in the case and has booked them under charges of rape and molestation.

Court Dismissed Anticipatory Bail

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday had declined the anticipatory bail pleas of Father Sony Varghese, Father Job Mathew and Father Jaise K. George who approached the court after Crime Branch slapped rape charges against them.

Dismissing the anticipatory bail plea, the HC said that prima facie there was sufficient evidence available against the accused priests. The court has reportedly accepted the prosecution’s argument that the woman was raped.

The Crime Branch, which is currently investigating the case, told the court that anticipatory bail should not be granted to the accused priests since it was essential to take them into custody for questioning.

How The Case Came Into View

The alleged sexual abuse by the priests came to light after an audio clip of the victim’s husband’s purported conversation with a church official claiming rape of his wife by the clergymen was widely circulated on social media.

The DGP directed the Crime Branch to file an FIR and begin a probe after Communist leader VS Achuthanandan wrote to the DGP seeking police intervention. The police was forced to take up the case suo motu after it came under pressure.