December 9, 2023

Kottiyoor minor girl rape case: Kerala HC reduces jail term of accused priest

Kochi (Kerala): The Kerala High Court reduced the jail term of former Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery in the Kottiyoor rape case to 10 years from 20 years by altering the charges from Section 376 (2) to Section 376 (1).

The Court also reduced the fine to Rs 1 lakh from 3 lakhs, in the case of raping and impregnating a minor. The Single Bench of Justice Narayana Pisharadi reduced the jail term after considering an appeal filed by the former priest.

He was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment after a court in February 2019 found him guilty.

The girl belonged to a Catholic family in a parish where Vadakkumchery worked as a priest. In May 2016, the girl, who had at the time just written her Class 10 exams, went to Vadakkumchery’s parsonage for some data-entry work of the parish. In the afternoon, when the other girls were away, the priest took the girl to his bedroom and raped her. He let her go home after warning her not to reveal the incident to anyone. The girl said nothing to her family. Later she became pregnant, but no one seemed to have realised this.

On February 7, 2017, the girl developed severe pain in her abdomen and was taken to a nearby hospital, which referred her to Christu Raja Hospital, Koothuparamba, in Kannur district, run by nuns of the Sacred Heart Congregation. On examination, it was revealed that the girl was pregnant, she subsequently gave birth. She told her mother about the incident at the parsonage, after which the family took up the matter with Vadakkumchery, who offered to pay the hospital bill of Rs 30,000.

Later, he was arrested from Kochi in February 2017. (ANI)