A 74-year-old Christian pastor has been arrested by Kunnathunad Police in Ernakulam district of Kerala for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl. The accused pastor Mathew has been charged with various provisions under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, said police.
(Photo Credit: The News Minute)
The Kerala police said that the crime took place in January 2021. The girl’s mother filed a complaint in the Kunnathunad Police Station after knowing about the incident. The accused pastor, who according to police, goes around houses preaching religious matters, was arrested from Konnathady on February 20, 2021.
Several Christian priests have been arrested for sexual misconduct in Kerala so far. Following are some of them-
A vicar of a Jacobite Syrian Church in Idukki was arrested by the police for allegedly sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman, while she approached him for health treatment in October 2020.
In 2019, a priest of the Syro Malabar Church in Ernakulam district was booked for allegedly assaulting three 9-year-old girls. Sixty-eight-year-old Father George Padayattil, the vicar of Holy Cross Church in Chendamangalam, allegedly abused the girl while they visited the priest in his residential area adjacent to the church.
The same year, another Christian priest in Kochi, who was heading boys home, was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing six minor boys who resided in the place. Father George TJ, alias Jerry, was the director of the boys’ home in Kochi run by Carmelites order, under the Diocese of Cochin.