KERALA: Five priests in Kerala are being investigated over allegations that they sexually assaulted a woman for almost 20 years in a cycle of abuse and blackmail. Two of the priests today approached a court for protection from arrest.
The woman’s story was exposed when an audio clip of her husband complaining to a church official was posted and circulated online.
The 36-year-old man has alleged that the priests, who are based at the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kottayam, sexually abused and blackmailed his wife for years.
It started when, as a teenager in the 1990s, the woman was allegedly forced into sex by a priest. She confessed to a second priest, who allegedly blackmailed her into sex.
Speaking to NDTV, her husband said when she reached out to the priests for help, they threatened and assaulted her.
“The main culprit, the Father, promised to marry her and continued to manipulate her. The Father was a student at that time. Even after finishing his seminary and becoming a priest, he continued the same pattern. Even after we got married in 2006, the priest continued to sexually abuse my wife, blackmail her, saying that he would tell me everything. I got to know all this only in February,” the husband said.
Then two more priests priesther and forced her into sex, the woman has reportedly told the police.
The woman has recorded her statement with the police and provided horrifying details about the role of priests who allegedly used her confessions to blackmail her.
The police have filed a rape case against the four priests. No arrests have been made yet.