Indian court acquits bishop of charge of raping nun

An Indian court has acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of costs of raping a nun in her rural convent, a case that turned a significant subject amid allegations of sexual harassment within the church

NEW DELHI — An Indian court on Friday acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of costs of raping a nun in her rural convent, a case that turned a significant subject amid allegations of sexual harassment within the church.

Sessions Judge G. Gopakumar in a short order stated the bishop was not responsible of costs that he repeatedly raped the nun between 2014 and 2016.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was current within the court in Kottayam, a southern Indian metropolis. Supporters cheered and chanted “Praise the Lord” as he left the court.

The detailed judgment is more likely to develop into accessible later Friday.

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The prosecution, representing the nun, will enchantment the decision, stated lawyer Sandhya Raju.

Virginia Saldanha, former government secretary of the Commission for Women of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, stated she was shocked by the decision. “My first thought was that misogyny within the church has gained. The verdict reinforces the idea {that a} highly effective man can’t be dropped at justice,” she stated.

Police charged Mulakkal with rape, unlawful confinement and intimidation of the nun. She stated she went to police solely after complaining repeatedly to church authorities. Eventually, a bunch of fellow nuns launched unprecedented public protests to demand Mulakkal’s arrest in 2018. He was detained however launched on bail after just a few weeks.

Mulakkal was the official patron of the nun’s group, the Missionaries of Jesus, and wielded immense affect over its budgets and job assignments.

Mulakkal denied the accusations, calling them “baseless and concocted,” and saying the accusing nun tried to stress him to get a greater job.

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The nun in her criticism accused Mulakkal, who on the time was bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese within the northern state of Punjab, of raping her a number of occasions throughout his visits to her convent in Kuravilangad in Kerala state.

Sister Anupama, who led the marketing campaign in assist of the nun, stated she would proceed the struggle for her colleague.

“We didn’t get the anticipated justice from the judiciary,” the Press Trust of India news company quoted her as saying.

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

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