Pathanamthitta : Two priests on the run, Fr Sony Varghese and Fr Jace K George are likely to surrender to investigating officers, according to reports. They are wanted by Crime Branch officials in connection with the sex scandal originating from Pathanamthitta where a married woman was allegedly blackmailed and raped over years.
The duo along with 2nd accused Fr Job Mathew had approached High Court on 11 July seeking anticipatory bail, which the court rejected.
Following court’s refusal Fr Job Mathew surrendered to Kollam DySP the next day.
The absconding priests’ lawyer had said yesterday that they were set to approach Supreme Court on Monday for the bail HC rejected.
The latest news on Fr Varghese and Fr George deciding to surrender follows disclosure by Crime Branch sleuths that they will not seek further custody of Fr Job Mathew. The Thiruvalla magistrate court had send Fr Mathew nto judicial custody till July 26.
A man from Pathanamthitta lodged complaint against five priests belonging to Malankara Syrian orthodox church’ in the district for allegedly exploiting his wife sexually by blackmailing her over years.
According to the complaint, the woman was abused by one priest when she was a minor. She allegedly confessed this pre-marital encounter to 2nd accused Father Job Mathew during sacrament of confession. The priest then allegedly began to blackmail her with the disclosure and coerced her to have sex with him.
Then blackmailing the woman with pictures of their intimacy, the priest allegedly forced her to bed three other priests – 1st accused Fr Sony Varghese, 3rd accused Fr Abraham Varghese and 4th accused Fr Jayce K George.
All accused priests maintain their innocence.
Church Decries Foul
The Malankara Syrian orthodox church’s working committee member and priests’ trustee Father M O John argues the case is not genuine. According to him it’s about a woman who has an affair with a priest in her teens, with another priest while in college and later with one who works in her parish.