Kerala Orthodox Church case: Magistrate Court rejects bail plea of 2 accused

A Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Thiruvalla on July 19 has rejected the bail applications of two priests, Father Job Mathew and Father Johnson V Mathew, who were arrested in a case of sexually assaulting a woman parishioner in June.

Both the accused are currently lodged in the Pathanamthitta district jail and in the coming days they are likely to move the Kerala High Court regarding their bail petitions.

A woman was a regular visitor to Malankara Orthodox Church. She had accused four priests of the church of sexually abusing her for a decade.

Victim’s husband had complained that she came under the threat from at least five priests. Out of the five one priest started exploiting her in the beginning and then even started blackmailing her.

When she sought help from another priest, he too, threatened her and shared her contact with a fellow priest and she was eventually victimized by all of them.

Currently, the National Commission for Women is monitoring the case. According to the police, one of the priests escaped action as the victim had mentioned only four names.

The Malankara Orthodox Church had suspended all the four priests after the complaint was filed in the matter.

One among the four accused priests surrendered on July 12.