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Mysuru Bishop Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Misappropriation of Diocese Funds; 37 Priests Write to Pope

A group called the Association of Concerned Catholics, Mumbai, has filed a complaint with the Mysuru Police on behalf of a woman who has accused the bishop of sexual misconduct.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:November 6, 2019, 11:26 PM IST
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Mysuru Bishop Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Misappropriation of Diocese Funds; 37 Priests Write to Pope
File photo of Mysuru bishop KA Williams.

Bengaluru: Mysuru Bishop KA Williams faces allegations of sexual misconduct and misappropriation of diocese funds from 37 priests of various parishes in the district. The priests have written to Pope Francis, detailing their allegations against the Williams, and have also released a copy of the letter to the media.

A group called the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Mumbai, has also filed a complaint with the Mysuru Police on behalf of a woman who has, in a video, accused Williams and another priest Leslie Morris of sexual misconduct.

In the video released to the media, the woman claimed she had been working with the family commission from 2013 to 2018.

"After Williams took charge in 2017, I have bad experiences during his administration. I am supposed to submit a daily report on the field works I do. Once, when I went to submit this report, Leslie Morris was grazing (sic) at me lustfully. Williams would verbally abuse me. Leslie approached me directly for sex. He said if I compromise, I can continue my job. I quit in May 2018," she said.

The woman alleged that Williams got his men to follow her after this at her new workplace and threatened to endanger the lives of her family members.

"Three men came to my office on July 27, 2018. Then I got a call from William. He said I have to accompany them because my family members were in danger. I said I won't come. One of them showed me a video of my son playing, a live video. I called my mother to confirm. It was true. I had to accompany them. We reached some place 20 minutes later. They took away my phone. There were three people — Williams, Leslie Morris and Vijaykumar (another priest). They threatened me. Williams said he was capable of putting my life in danger and that am constantly followed. When they returned my phone, all data on my phone was erased," she said.

The woman claimed she has gathered evidence against Williams and will approach the higher officials.

In a press conference, Williams denied all the allegations.

"I have met the woman only twice, both times for professional work along with another staff. All these allegations against me and Leslie Morris are lies. This is a concocted story. I had information about this six months ago. On April 4, 2019, when the woman called a staff of mine, she had said she is under pressure from Father Gilbert and that she is being forced to accuse me or stand witness to their allegations against me," said Williams, releasing an audio purportedly of the victim.

Williams hinted at internal politics in the diocese that led to these allegations.

AOCC member Robert Rosario on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Lashkar police in Mysuru. Although no FIR has been filed so far, the police are investigating the case.

A police officer said they will need to either locate the woman or she needs to come forward and file a complaint for them to register the FIR. Rosario also faces a case of causing communal disharmony in case from May last year.

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