Bail plea of two jailed Orthodox priests dismissed

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Thiruvalla (Kerala) July 19 (IANS) A magisterial court near here on Thursday denied bail to the two jailed Malankara Orthodox Church priests named in a case for sexually abusing of a woman parishioner.

Of the four accused Kerala priests — Father Job Mathew and Father Johnson V. Mathew — who were arrested last week had moved the Thiruvalla Magistrate Court for bail. Both are currently lodged in the Pathanamthitta district jail.

A woman who regularly visited the Malankara Orthodox Church had accused five priests of sexually abusing her for a decade. Her husband had complained that she came under the duress from at least five priests.

It was one priest in the beginning who first exploited his wife and then started blackmailing her.

When she sought help from another priest, he too, threatened her and shared her contact with a fellow priest and she was eventually victimised by five of them.

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The National Commission for Women is monitoring the case. One of the priests escaped action as the victim had mentioned only four names, according to the police.

The other two priests who are on the run — Father Sony (Abraham) Varghese and Father Jaice K. George, their bail plea is being heard in the Supreme Court at 12.30 p.m. on Thursday.



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