Two more church priests accused of sexually exploiting a 34-year-old housewife in Kerala’s Kottayam for years surrendered before the police in Kollam today, a week after the Supreme Court rejected their pleas for bail.The apex court had directed them to surrender by August 13 while rejecting their petitions.Two other priests were arrested earlier.
Sony Varghese and Jasie K George surrendered before the police commissioner of Kollam in south Kerala and were later handed over to the team investigating the case.They are among the four priests of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, who were allegedly involved in sexually exploiting the woman.
Two other priests accused in the case – Fr Job Mathew and Johnson V Mathew – had already surrendered before the police and granted bail by the high court. The four priests, attached to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, were accused of sexually abusing a 34-year-old married woman by using her confessional statement.
The victim’s husband had accused them of using her confession to “blackmail” and “sexually abuse” her.
The National Commission for Women Rekha Sharma, who met the victim, had kicked off a big controversy after she sought a ban on confessions.This is the first time the police have registered a case on the basis of a confession, which is considered as one of the seven sacraments of the church.