Thiruvalla: An Orthodox church priest, accused of raping a woman after threatening to disclose her confessions before him, has bee remanded by Thiruvalla magistrate for two weeks.
Fr Job Mathew, second accused in the case in which the woman had alleged that priests of the church had raped her, had surrendered before the cops on Thursday after the Kerala High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the investigators have unearthed more evidence against the priest, including details of the phone calls he exchanged with the woman. Job Mathew’s phone has been seized to recover call records. Proof of the priest visiting the woman at her house also has landed with the police.
However, Job Mathew said that though the woman had confessed before him, he could not recall the details.
While rejecting the bail plea on Wednesday, the HC had observed that they acted as 'predators' and took 'undue advantage' of her. According to the woman, she was 'systematically abused' by the accused, who were all closely known to her family.
The woman's husband had last month accused the five priests of using his wife's confession to the priests to 'blackmail and sexually abuse' her.
The name of the fifth priest was not included for want of substantial evidence.
The incident came to light after an audio clip of the purported conversation of the victim's husband with a church official about the sexual abuse of his wife was widely circulated on social media.
Confession, a method of the church by which individuals confess sins and have them absolved by god through the administration of a priest, is obligatory in Orthodox church at least once a year. It is usually conducted inside the church.
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