Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » India
1-min read

High Court Grants Bail to Kerala Priest Accused in Rape Case

Johnson V Mathew, a counsellor of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, was arrested from Kozhencherry in the district on July 13.


Updated:July 23, 2018, 5:39 PM IST
High Court Grants Bail to Kerala Priest Accused in Rape Case
File image of Kerala High Court.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail to a Christian priest arrested for allegedly abusing a married woman in Pathanamthitta district.

Johnson V Mathew, a counsellor of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, was arrested from Kozhencherry in the district on July 13.

He was charged under Section 354 (outraging modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.

Johnson Mathew, the third accused in the rape case, involving three more priests of the church, moved the high court seeking bail after a magistrate court in Thiruvalla had turned down his plea.

Granting bail, Justice Rajavijayaraghavan directed the priest to surrender his passport, cooperate in the investigation and not to enter the limits of the police station where the victim resides.

The Crime Branch probing the case had earlier arrested Job Mathew, the vicar of a local church.

He had surrendered after the high court dismissed his anticipatory bail plea and that of two other priests, observing they acted as "predators" and took "undue advantage" of the woman.

The two other priests, accused in the case, have moved the Supreme Court seeking anticipatory bail.

The incident came to light after an audio clip of the purported conversation of the husband of the victim with a church official about the alleged sexual abuse of his wife by the priests was circulated on social media.

The woman's husband had in June accused five priests of using his wife's secret confession to "blackmail and sexually abuse" her.

The Crime Branch registered a case following which the four priests had moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail.

According to the woman's statement to police, the accused vicar had sought sexual favours from her after she made a confession to him about one of her tormentors and also threatened to reveal the contents of the confession against another accused in the case.

The vicar also used to speak about sexual activities over phone and that the abuse continued till 2012, she alleged.

Johnson Mathew, according to the woman's complaint, was her senior in college and got in touch with her through WhatsApp.

In course of time his messages turned explicit and he also allegedly morphed her face with a nude picture of another woman and threatened to circulate it on the web, the complaint said.

The FIR was registered against the priests by the crime branch after recording the woman's statement.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months. Use code FREEDOM.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results