Thiruvananthapuram, July 19: A Kerala Court on Thursday rejected bail pleas of priests Job Mathew and Johnson V Mathew, who are accused of sexually abusing a home maker. The other accused in the Malankara Orthodox Church case are Fr Abraham Varghese and Fr Jaise George who have been booked on similar charges.
The bail pleas were heard by Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Thiruvalla. As per reports, Job Mathew and Johnson V Mathew would now approach the High Court with their bail plea.
Father Johnson V Mathew had surrendered before the investigation team in Thiruvalla on July 14. Job Mathew had surrendered before Kollam Crime branch on July 13.
Job Mathew is the second accused in the case. Earlier, the Kerala Police Crime Branch had booked four priests of the church on charges of rape and molestation.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said it would hear anticipatory bail plea filed by prime accused priest Abraham Varghese on-camera. Lawyers and others associated with the case would be allowed inside Courtroom. Varghese had earlier moved the Court seeking anticipatory bail.
The priests have been accused of blackmailing and sexually abusing the woman for three years. In a letter to the church in June, the woman's husband, from Tiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district, claimed that the priests used his wife's confession, which is meant to be a secret under church laws, to blackmail her. He named eight people in the letter and sought action against them.
Following the allegations, the church sent the priests on leave last week. The National Commission for Women on Wednesday wrote to the Kerala police chief seeking an investigation.