2 Kerala Priests Accused Of Raping, Blackmailing Woman Surrender In Court

Father Sony Varghese and Father Jaise K George had approached the top court for protection from arrest.


Two of the four Kerala priests, accused of raping and blackmailing a woman for several years, surrendered before a local court today.

The priests from the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Father Sony Varghese (Abraham Varghese) and Father Jaise K George, had approached the Supreme Court for protection from arrest after the Kerala High Court rejected their plea. They were told by the top court to first surrender before the local court.

The priests surrendered before a court in Thiruvalla town today.

The 34-year-old married woman has alleged that the priests uploaded videos on the internet and they used them to blackmail her.

Four priests of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church were accused of sexually abusing the woman by using her confessional statement.

On July 19, Father Sony Varghese and Father Jaise K George were granted protection from arrest by the top court till it pronounced a verdict on their anticipatory bail pleas.

The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police had on July 2 registered a case against Father Varghese and three other priests on the basis of a statement given by the woman belonging to the same church who accused them of sexually assaulting her on many occasions.

The two other priests had surrendered before court earlier.

Last month, the National Commission of Women (NCW) recommended abolishing the practice of “confessions” in churches as they felt it can lead to blackmailing of women. The suggestion came after a number of women alleged rape and sexual abuse by priests and church officials.

The women’s commission recommendation drew sharp criticism from the Catholic church and churchgoers.

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