Australian volunteer arrested,sent to jail

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Puri, Nov 13 (UNI) An Australian volunteer was arrested and sent to jail for alleged sexual abuse of the inmates of an orphanage here keeping them under fear of expulsion.

Sadar police said Paul Allen(45) was arrested on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mary Ellen,founder of Mary Ellen Berger (MEG) foundation, USA, which has been running an orphanage in the outskirts of this holy city.

According to Mary Ellen when she returned to Puri in October last she was stunned to learn the sexual escapades of Mr Paul who was known as a professor to the inmates of the orphanage.

Mr Paul was working in the orphanage since its inception in 2002 after the 1999 super cyclone and was living in the guest house of the orphanage campus.

Mary took the eight victim children into confidence and the story of Paul having sexual escapades with them unfolded. There were nearly eightyfive children, including 45 girls, housed in separate buildings in the Orphanage campus.

By the time the complaint was lodged, Mr Paul had left for Vishakhapatanam orphanage but Puri Superintendent of police Asit Kumar Panigrahi sent a police team to nab the culprit.

The Puri police with the help of their Andhra Pradesh counterpart arrested Paul and brought him back. During interrogation Paul revealed that in 2001 he was arrested in a similar case in Andhra Pradesh and was in jail for one month.

He escaped as none of the victims testified against him in the court and pleaded innocence. The investigating officer recorded the statements of the victim children in the orphanage and decided to send them for medical examination.

A case under sections 377 and 323 of IPC has been registered against Mr Paul and he was forwarded to the court of sub divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) here today after medical examination.

The SDJM after refusing his bail plea sent him to the jail custody.

Mary Ellen, a septuagenarian lady and president of the foundation, told newspersons that she had to sold out all her property in the US to serve the cause of orphan children in the world.

She rushed to Puri after the district was ravaged by the super cyclone in 1999 and a large number of children became orphan after their near and dear ones and parents were washed away.

The lady adopted them in her orphanage and was running a free kitchen and school for them. Paul was referred to her by an Indian pasture in the USA and since then he was working in the orphanage.


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