A trial court on Monday, 16 March, dismissed a discharge petition filed by Bishop Franco Mulakkal in connection with the case of alleged rape of a nun in which he is the prime accused.In his plea filed before the Additional District and Sessions Court I, Bishop Franco had claimed that prima facie there was no case to frame charges against him.Dismissing the plea, the trial court said the bishop should stand for trial in the rape case. The bishop's lawyer said an appeal would be filed in the high court against the trial court order.‘No Case to Frame Charges’: Bishop Mulakkal Files Discharge PleaAccused by Two ComplainantsThe prosecution had filed its objection to the plea filed by the bishop, accused of raping and sexually assaulting a nun of the same diocese.The bishop had filed the plea just ahead of commencement of the preliminary hearing on charges against him in January 2020. The case is based on a complaint filed against the bishop by the nun.In her complaint to the police in June 2018, the nun had alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by the bishop during the period between 2014 and 2016.The bishop, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team which probed the case, has been charged under IPC Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (2k) (rape on a woman incapable of giving consent), 376 (2n) (causing grievous bodily harm during rape), 376 (c) (a) 377 (unnatural offence), 506 (1) (criminal intimidation).In February 2020, a second nun from Kerala accused Bishop Franco of harassment and non-consensual sexting. The 35-year-old complainant belongs to Missionaries of Jesus, the same congregation as the first nun who accused Bishop Franco of raping her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.The second complainant's statement was released on the 'Save our Sisters' forum and it stated that Bishop Franco had sent her lewd messages via text and had also behaved inappropriately with her.“I used to call him regarding issues related to the convent, and it turned into a friendship. Between 2015 and 2017, we used to send messages on WhatsApp, call each other and do video calls. I was only looking for friendship. But by the end of 2015, his remarks became sexual in nature,” she stated.(This article has been republished in arrangement with The News Minute)Another Kerala Nun Accuses Bishop Franco of Harassment, Sexting We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.