A Christian priest in Kerala has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two minor boys of an orphanage for two years, police said. The victims were staying at ‘Balbhavan’ in Meenangadi where the priest was working, a police official said. Fr Saji Joseph, who was allegedly sexually assaulting the boy’s since March 2015, was arrested following complaints from children’s relatives, the official said.
He was absconding for the past three days and was arrested from Thamarassery on Monday. He was hiding in various places, including Mangaluru, they said. The official said Joseph has been charged under section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code, and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act.
Statements of the children have been taken, the official said. The priest had gone missing after relatives of the children complained to the police. Childline authorities were also informed. The priest hails from Kottiyoor in Kannur district. On February 28, a Catholic priest had been arrested on the charge of sexually abusing a minor girl who later gave birth to a child.
The 48-year-old priest Robin Vadakkancheril was a vicar at the St Sebastian’s Church in Kottiyoor.