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Malankara Orthodox Church case: Two priests accused of raping, blackmailing woman surrender in court

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 13: Two of the four Kerala priests, accused of blackmailing and sexually abusing a 34-year-old housewife in Kerala's Kottayam for years, have surrendered before the court on Monday.

Two priests surrender before court

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.

Also Read | Why there's a sudden rise in rape cases involving Church priests, asks SC

They are among the four priests of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, who were allegedly involved in sexually exploiting the woman. Two of them were arrested earlier.

The priests surrendered before a court in Thirvalla district today.

The mother of two has said in her statement to the police that Father Varghese, one of her distant relatives, first assaulted her during a prayer meeting when she was 16. She related the incident to the second priest, Father Job Mathew, during a confession after she got married in 2009.

Also Read | Kerala Church sex scandal: SC extends protection to two clergymen

Father Mathew allegedly used her confession to sexually exploit her too. Later, he shared the information with two of his colleagues - Jasie K George and Jonson V Mathew - who also joined him in blackmailing her, she said in her complaint.

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