Two more priests surrender in Kerala sexual abuse case

Thiruvananthapuram: Two more Kerala priests, accused of sexually abusing a woman, surrendered before police today, officials said.

Fr Abraham Varghese alias Sony surrendered before a court at Thiruvalla while Fr Jaise K George at the crime branch office in Kollam this morning, the police said.

The clergymen surrendered after the Supreme Court cancelled their interim protection from the arrest and asked them to surrender by today. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had said the two priests were at liberty to seek regular bail once they surrendered.

The two had moved the apex court seeking anticipatory bail in the case after their plea was rejected by the Kerala High Court on 11 July.

Two other priests accused in the case - Fr Job Mathew and Johnson V Mathew - had already surrendered before the police and granted bail by the high court.

The four priests, attached to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, were accused of sexually abusing a 34-year-old married woman by using her confessional statement.

The victim's husband had accused them of using her confession to "blackmail" and "sexually abuse" her. The crime branch of the Kerala Police had on 2 July registered a case against them on the basis of a statement given by the woman belonging to the same church. She accused them of sexually assaulting her on many occasions.


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