Church Sex Scandal : Cops to Prevent 2 Priests From Approaching SC; Arrests Likely Today

Pathanamthitta : Two Orthodox church priests on the run, in connection with blackmail and rape case involving a married woman from the district, are likely to be arrested today, according to police.

The priests Fr Abraham Varghese (Sony) and Fr Jaice K George reportedly seek to move Supreme Court for anticipatory bail, an attempt police aims to foil.

Their plea for bail was rejected by Kerala High Court on 11 July following which one priest surrendered and three others were taken into custody from their hideouts.

The passports of all the accused were suspended earlier to stop them from leaving the country.

Incidentally Jaice George is based in Delhi but is reported to be in Kerala.

The search for the pair has been intensified according to police sources. The church has reportedly asked the priests to surrender.

All the accused priests have been barred from church duties since the news of molestation broke.

The Scandal
A man from Pathanamthitta lodged complaint against  five priests belonging to Malankara Syrian orthodox church in the district for sexually exploiting his wife 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. He 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.

Another priest Fr Johnson V Mathew is accused of once blackmailing the woman using her nude pics and forcing her into his car after which he touched her inappropriately. He is the 5th accused and the only priest exempted from rape charges.

All accused priests maintain their innocence though unconfirmed reports say the ones nabbed have confessed to their crime.

Three priests have been arrested so far while 2 – Fr  Abraham Varghese aka Sony and Fr Jayce K George – continue to abscond.

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 the clergy it’s about a woman who has an affair with a priest in her teens and with another who works in the parish.

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