Thiruvananthapuram: In a new development in Kerala Church sexual assault case, four priests of Malankara Church have been charged with rape and molestation based on the victim’s statement given to the crime branch.
The accused have been identified as Abraham Arghese, Job Mathew, Johnson V Mathew and Jaise George.
The woman in her statement has said that Abraham Varghese, who also happens to be her relative, had been sexually abusing her since she was 16. When she confessed the same to Job Mathew, he used it to blackmail her and sexually abused her too.
She has further alleged that her exploitation continued at the hands of another priest, Johnson V Mathew, who was her junior in the college.
According to the statement, the victim had then tried to seek help from another priest and counsellor, Jaise Mathew, but he also exploited her.
The four priests were suspended from the Malankara Orthodox Church after the case reached the church. An internal enquiry was also ordered.
Kerala crime branch team led by Inspector General S Sreejith took the reins of the case after former chief minister V S Achuthanandan wrote to the crime branch seeking probe.