After evading arrest for more than a month, two priests in the controversial sex-for-silence case surrendered on Monday. This comes a week after the Supreme Court dismissed their anticipatory bail plea. Two Malankara Orthodox Church priests were among the four accused of sexually assaulting a woman from Thiruvalla.
First accused Fr Abraham Varghese alias Sony Varghese surrendered at the Thiruvalla Magistrate Court, while fourth accused Jaise K George reportedly surrendered at the Kollam crime branch office.
This, after the apex court dismissed their pleas for anticipatory bail on August 6, asking them to surrender before the investigating team by August 13.
Dismissing their anticipatory bail plea, the apex court had also directed the two accused priests to surrender their mobile phones to the police and cooperate with the probe.
Four priests -- Fr Abraham Varghese, Fr Job Mathew, Fr Johnson Mathew and Fr Jaise K George -- were booked by the Special Branch of Kerala police last month, after the husband of a 40-year-old woman accused the said priests of raping his wife.
According to the survivorâ€™s statement, she was in a relationship with a clergy student Sony Varghese in 1999, when she was 16 years old. He went on to become a priest and forced her to continue the relationship, even after the two had gotten married to other individuals. It was prior to the baptism of her baby, that the survivor had confessed to Fr. Job Mathew, who then went on to blackmail her.
40-year-old Fr. Job Mathew, a native of Kollam, is the second accused in the case. He has been accused of blackmailing the survivor using her confession secret in 2009. Fr. Johnson Mathew is accused of sexually abusing the survivor by taking her in a car and Fr Jaise K George, a counsellor is also accused of sexually abusing the woman.