A Catholic priest in Kerala was arrested on Monday for sexually abusing a minor girl last year. The 48-year-old Father Robin Vadakkancheril, vicar at the St Sebastian’s Church in Kottiyoor, Kannur district was taken into custody after the 17-year-old survivor gave birth to a child last week, report NDTV.
According to a report by The Hindustan Times, the priest had allegedly raped the girl at the computer class provided by the church in May 2016. Last month, after the survivor gave birth to a child, both of them were shifted to an orphanage in Wayanad.
The girl's family used to regularly visit the church, which is near their house. The girl was reportedly living under trauma since the incident as she was threatened by the priest. Even her parents kept mum, fearing social stigma.
However, the girl reportedly the matter to government's helpline for children in distress which later informed the police. “Initially, the girl said she was abused by her own father. Later, when we questioned her in detail with the help of policewomen, the girl disclosed the name of Fr Robin,’’ police said, reports Indian Express.
The priest who has been removed from all the religious duties of the church will be booked under the provisions of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Posco) and IPC.
Ironically, Vadakkancheril was a vocal proponent against child abuse and used to regularly speak against it on public forums. He had on Sunday announced in the church that he would be away for some time.
(Feature image is representational: Source: Flickr)