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Catholic bishop acquitted for raping Indian nun | Sexual Assault News

An Indian court has acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of raping a nun in his rural convent amid allegations of sexual harassment.

An Indian Catholic court has acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of raping a nun in a rural convent, the case has become a major issue. sexual harassment in the church.

Judge G Gopakumar in a brief order said on Friday that the bishop was not guilty of repeatedly raping the nun between 2014 and 2016.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal He was in court in Kottayam, a city in southern India. Followers cheered and shouted “Stay Lord” as they left the courtroom.

The exact verdict is likely to be available later Friday.

The prosecution, representing the nun, will appeal the verdict, said lawyer Sandhya Raju.

Virginia Saldanha, a former executive secretary of the Women’s Committee of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, said she was surprised by the verdict.

“My first thought was that misogyny had prevailed in the church. The verdict reinforces that a powerful man cannot be brought to justice, ”he said.

Police accused Mulakkal of raping, illegally imprisoning and assaulting a nun. He said he went to the police after repeatedly complaining to church authorities. Eventually, a group of nun friends set off unprecedented public protests He was arrested in 2018 for requesting the arrest of Mulakkal. He was arrested but released on bail within a few weeks.

The nuns also wrote to the Vatican asking them to intervene in the case. Their unrest had national headlines and divided India’s small Christian minority, a Hindu majority, where they make up 2.3 percent of the population, according to census data.

Mulakkal was the official patron of the community of nuns, the Missionaries of Jesus, and had a great influence on their budgets and assignments.

Mulakkal denied the allegations, saying they were “baseless and fabricated,” and said the accusation was an attempt to pressure the nun to do a better job.

The nun complained that Mulakkal, then the bishop of Jalandhar Diocese in northern Punjab, had been raped several times during visits to the Kuravilangad convent in Kerala state.

Kerala is considered to be the birthplace of Christianity in India, where the Apostle Thomas is believed to have landed there in the year 52.

Sister Anupama, who led the campaign for the nun, said she would continue to fight for her colleague.

“We have not gotten the expected justice out of justice,” the India Press Trust of India news agency reported.

B Raman Pillai, the bishop’s lawyer, told reporters that “the prosecution case was very weak and the investigation was very poor.”

While the Catholic Church has been embroiled in numerous sexual abuse scandals around the world, Mulakkal was the first Indian priest to stand trial.

In February 2019, Pope Francis for the first time publicly acknowledged that priests and bishops had promised to sexually abuse and address the issue against nuns.




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