Kollam, July 12: The second accused, Father Mathew, surrendered before Kollam Crime branch in connection with the Malankara Orthodox Church case.
The Kerala high court on Wednesday declined anticipatory bail to three priests of Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church who are accused of sexually abusing a 34-year-old married woman.
One of the priests is accused of raping her by misusing confessional statement.
The priests--Abraham Varghese alias Sony, Job Mathew and Jaise K George-- had approached the court soon after the crime branch of Kerala Police slapped rape charges against four of the five Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church priests, who were accused of sexually exploiting the victim.
According to TOI report, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V said in the order that the priests, who were in a position of dominance, acted as predators and took undue advantage of the woman and systematically abused her.
The court observed that there is prima facie evidence against the priests and hence the investigation team should continue the probe.
The rape case came to light after the victim's husband told about his wife's ordeal to a friend over the phone and the conversation clip went viral.
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