Kochi, July 11: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of three of the four Malankara Orthodox Church priests who have been accused of sexually abusing a woman parishioner. As the bail plea was strongly opposed by the prosecution, the counsels of the three priests informed the court that their clients were willing to surrender. But the court pointed out that there were enough evidence against Father Sony Varghese, Father Job Mathew and Father Jaice K. George and declined them bail. The Crime Branch was expected to arrest the three, and also a fourth priest, who is on the run.
A woman who regularly visited the Malankara Orthodox Church had accused five priests of sexually abusing her for a decade. Her husband had complained that one of the priests, who first exploited his wife, was blackmailing her. The court last week also refused any relief to the accused, who had sought a direction that police should not arrest them till their bail petition was heard. (IANS)