A fast track court in Kerala has convicted a renowned psychologist for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in 2017. Gireesh, who practised in Thiruvananthapuram, has been sentenced to six yearsâ€™ imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh. Special judge R Jayakrishnan of the fast track special court in Thiruvananthapuram pronounced the judgement on Sunday, February 6. This is the first time that a psychologist has been convicted in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) case. The sexual abuse happened at his private clinic in Thiruvananthapuram city.
Teachers had referred the boy for counselling when he began showing lack of interest in studies, and suspected that he had a learning disability. The teachers, hence, suggested the parents to take the child to Gireesh. The convict took the child to a room on pretext of treatment, and asked him inappropriate questions like whether he watched porn videos and sexually abused him. Gireesh then threatened the boy to not disclose the crime to anyone. However, the child revealed the incident to his parents on the way back home.
The parents complained to the Childline, which, in turn, informed the police. â€śThe incident had badly affected the mental health of the child. The court, in the judgement, has said the sufferings of the child and the parents canâ€™t be overlooked,â€ť Special Public Prosecutor RS Vijayamohan said in a statement. The court found him guilty under section 9(c) (sexual assault by a public servant on a child) and section 9(e) (sexual assault by a manager of staff of a hospital on a child in the same facility).
Gireesh has reportedly worked in several government health centres, and is an accused in other sexual abuse cases too. The trial in another case where he is accused of of sexually abusing another minor boy will begin next month.
TNM had reported in 2019 that due to inordinate delays in the judicial proceedings, Gireesh had continued to practise despite sexual abuse complaints against him. In 2017, a woman had accused him of sexually harassing her as well. The case has attracted media attention given that Gireesh had made a name for himself as a psychologist. Apart from running a private clinic, he used to be an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Health Department of Thiruvananthapuram and co-anchored a medical show on a popular Malayalam channel.