Two priests of Malankara Orthodox church, booked for raping a homemaker abusing her secret at the confessional, have surrendered.
Fr. Jaise K. George, the fourth accused, surrendered at the Kollam Crime Branch office and the first accused Fr. Abraham Varghese, before a court in Thiruvalla on Monday.
Fr. Varghese was remanded till August 23. The Supreme Court had earlier rejected their anticipatory bail plea and directed them to surrender before August 13.
The investigation team was all set to arrest them if they failed to abide by the directive. Fr. Johnson V. Mathew, the third accused, was arrested from a house at Thekkemala in Kozhencherry and Fr. Job Mathew, the second defendant, gave in to the police in Kollam a few weeks ago.
Crime branch charged IPC sections 354 (assault to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 376 (rape) against the four, based on the victim’s statement.
The 34-year-old woman had given a confidential statement before the Thiruvalla Judicial First Class Magistrate based on section 164 of CrPC reiterating her claim.
She says Fr. Varghese assaulted her while she was just 16. Fr. Mathew abused her when she told him about this at the confessional in 2009.
She complained to her former classmate Fr George and met Fr Mathew for counselling. But both of them also turned predators.
The Malankara Orthodox Church had suspended five priests after she complained in May.