HONG KONG (CHINA)
Union of Catholic Asia News
June 24, 2019
A court in central India has acquitted a Catholic priest accused of raping a woman in his presbytery after it could not find any merit in the charges filed almost a year ago.
A trial court in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state, acquitted 52-year-old Bhopal archdiocesan Father George Jacob on June 21.
The priest was arrested last Aug. 11 and sent to jail after a middle-aged woman complained that he raped her after inviting her to his presbytery.
The priest was released on bail on Aug. 20 after a medical report found him incapable of performing the sexual act.
The court conducted 10 hearings and examined medical reports, statements of witnesses and
other scientific evidence before acquitting the priest.
Under his bail conditions, the priest visited the court once a month and signed a document.
The archdiocese has welcomed the court’s decision. “From the beginning, we were sure that the priest would be cleared of the charges,” said spokesman Father Maria Stephan.
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