Kerala: Christian priest sentenced to 18 years for sexually assaulting four teenage boys

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (INDIA)
OpIndia.com

May 1, 2022

The 35-year-old Christian priest Father Thomas Parekkulam, a member of Chennai-based SDM minor seminary, was found guilty of sexually abusing four minor boys who were the students of a seminary in Pullamala in the district wherein the accused was serving as a rector.

A Kerala court has sentenced a Catholic priest to 18 years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually abusing four minor boys at a seminary in Kollam district five years ago.

According to the reports, the 35-year-old Christian priest Father Thomas Parekkulam, a member of Chennai-based SDM minor seminary, was found guilty of sexually abusing four minor boys who were the students of a seminary in Pullamala in the district wherein the accused was serving as a rector.

A case was registered against the priest in Puthoor under Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act, 2012.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (POCSO) KN Sujith has sentenced the priest to five years each in three cases and three years sentences in the fourth case. The court has also ordered him to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each for every case.

The court also considered the trauma suffered by the victims of the sexual attacks and recommended to the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to award adequate compensation to the victims commensurate to the physical as well as mental trauma suffered by them.

“The factual circumstances emerged in the instant case would show that attributing to sexual attack the victim boys were subjected to, they had suffered physical as well as mental trauma, and ergo, it is necessary to rehabilitate them,” the court said.

The accused pastor had escaped from the police custody and had absconded. However, the police arrested him from Chennai.

The case was registered and investigated based on a complaint received by the Child Welfare Committee in Thiruvananthapuram.

https://www.opindia.com/2022/05/kerala-christian-priest-church-crime-rape-minor-boys/