Kottiyoor Rape Case : Church Priest Sentenced To 20 Yrs Imprisonment For Rape Of Minor
In the Kottiyoor rape case of Kerala, a POCSO Court at Thalassery today convicted a priest of catholic church Robin Vadakkumchery for raping and impregnating a minor girl in 2016. The Court has sentenced him to 20 years rigorous imprisonment.
Robin was the vicar of St.Sebastian's Church, Kottiyoor, Wayanad District, when the incident occurred. The victim gave birth to a girl child in February 2017. The DNA of the child born was the main incriminating evidence against Father Robin.
He was arrested by police in February 2016 on his way to airport in an attempt to flee to Canada.
The Court today acquitted six others -Thangamma Nelliyani, Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Chairman Fr Thomas Joseph Therakam, CWC committee member Sister Betty Jose and Superintendent of an orphanage in Wayanad Sister Ophelia, along with Sister Liss Mariya and Sister Anita — who were accused of covering up the crime, for lack of evidence.
Last year, the SC had discharged a gynaecologist, paediatrician and a hospital administrative head who were arrayed as accused in the case. The allegation against them was that they knew of the crime when the victim was brought to the hospital in which they were working at an advanced stage of pregnancy; but despite knowledge, they did not report the incident to police. So they were charged under Section 19(1) of POCSO.
While discharging them, the SC observed that they had no knowledge that the victim was a minor, as the age mentioned in hospital records was 18.
"The victim was admitted in the hospital at 9.15 am and she immediately went into labour and at 9.25 am she gave birth to a baby. Therefore, appellant no. 1 attended to the victim for the first time between 9.15 am and 9.25 am on 7th February, 2017. The medical records of the victim state that she was 18 years' old as on 7th February 2017. Appellant no. 1 did not know that the victim was a minor when she had sexual intercourse.", the SC observed as regards the gynaecologist.
The SC observed that the other doctor, who is a paediatrician, had no occasion to examine/treat the victim. The court also said, as a hospital administrator, it was not possible for her to be aware of the details of each patient.
(Image sourced from here)