Chargesheet filed against Fr Figarez

Times of India
March 07, 2016

Kochi: The Vadakkekara police have filed the chargesheet against Catholic priest Edwin Figarez (41) who was booked for raping a minor girl at Puthenvelikkara last year. The chargesheet was submitted before Ernakulam additional sessions court set up to hear cases related to atrocities and sexual violence against women and children.The chargesheet said that the priest raped the 14-year-old girl several times between January and March 28 last year. The accused was the parish priest of Lourdes Matha Church, Puthenvelikkara in Ernakulam when he committed the crime. Vadakkekara CI Vishal Johnson said that the chargesheet was submitted at the court before the accused completed 90 days in judicial custody; Figarez is yet to be granted bail in the case. After the girl's mother filed a complaint, Figarez went into hiding and evaded arrest for nearly eight months.

A lookout notice was issued against the priest. However, Figarez surrendered before the police on December 18, 2015, after the high court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.

The accused was booked under provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Earlier, the police had arrested two of his relatives for helping him leave the country.

Later, the police also booked a doctor, Ajitha - attached to the Puthenvelikkara taluk hospital - for failing to report the sexual abuse to the police. The complaint given by the mother of the victim said that Ajitha had given contraceptive tablets to the girl on March 29, 2015.


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