Kerala Catholic Priest Booked for Sexually Assaulting Three Girls
Officials at the Vadakkekkara Police station, Ernakulam said the priest had touched the three girls inappropriately.
A Kerala Catholic priest of the Syro Malabar Church in Ernakulam district has been booked for allegedly sexually assaulting three nine-year-old girls.
The case has been registered against 68-year-old Father George Padayattil, the vicar of Holy Cross Church in Chendamangalam.
Officials in Vadakkekkara Police station in Ernakulam told TNM that the priest had touched the three girls inappropriately.
“The incidents happened last month when the girls went to the priest’s 'meda', the place where he stays alongside the church, to get his blessings after Sunday rites. According to the complaint, the girls revealed that he touched them inappropriately during two such incidents,” the police official said.
The girls' story came to light after one of the children reported the incident to her school teacher. “The teacher informed Childline officials and we received a complaint through the child welfare committee,” the official noted.
The three girls are studying in the same school and are classmates.
Parents of the three children were informed by the school teachers who had spoken to the students.
Father George Padayattil has been booked under Section 10 (Punishment for aggravated sexual assault) and Section 11 (Sexual harassment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
According to the police, the priest is currently absconding.
“The children gave their statement to the judicial magistrate under oath. The case was charged after that. We are waiting to receive a copy of the statement, following which we will increase the charges against him,” the police official said.
In July, another priest in Ernakulam district belonging to Carmelites order under the diocese of Cochin, was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing six minors at a boys home.
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