If not for an anonymous intimation to the child helpline, a Catholic priest in Kerala would have gotten away with raping and impregnating a 16-year-old minor. There are allegations that there was an attempt at the systematic cover up. Father Robin Vadakkumchery, 48, vicar of St Sebastian's church in Kottiyoor accused of raping the minor was finally arrested while he attempting to flee to Canada.
It is alleged that Vadakkumchery had managed to silence the church-run hospital where the minor delivered an infant after being raped by the pastor. Further the allegation is that he had tried to cover up the crime by shifting them to an orphanage
Kerala-Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery, arrested y'day frm Thrissur over sexually abusing girl, to be produced before court later today. pic.twitter.com/Hyl4LJNAno
Kerala-Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery, arrested y'day frm Thrissur over sexually abusing girl, to be produced before court later today. pic.twitter.com/Hyl4LJNAno— ANI (@ANI_news) February 28, 2017
The child helpline was tipped off about the minor after she delivered a child, and filed a complaint with the police which marred the cover up plan.
After making arrangements with the hospital and the church-run orphanage, the priest is alleged to have pressurised the victim's parents to take the blame upon themselves.
While the police refused to file a complaint against the priest, the victim, more shockingly, accused her father of raping her. What came as a shocker to the investigating authorities was the victim's father accepting his daughter's allegations. The victim opened up about the actual accused only after multiple rounds of questioning by the police. Inconsistencies in her statement led the police to believe that the victim as well as her parents were trying to conceal the facts.
It may be noted that the church refused to take any action against the pastor till a police complaint was filed despite the victim getting medical help from the church's hospital. The church claimed that it did not know of the incident till it became public.
The victim as well as the new born were sent to the orphanage even as the police arrested the pastor and produced him before a court. The child helpline conducted a detailed probe into the anonymous intimation following which a police complaint was filed.