Updated: August 1, 2021 2:18:20 pm
A rape survivor from Kerala on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to marry former Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery who is the convict in the case. The court will hear the case on Monday.
Vadakkumchery was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment after a court in February 2019 found him guilty of raping and impregnating a minor. Following this, the Church initiated steps to dismiss him from priesthood and finally defrocked him in 2020.
The girl belonged to a Catholic family in a parish where Vadakkuncheril worked as a priest. In May 2016, the girl, who had at the time just written her Class 10 exams, went to Vadakkuncheril’s parsonage for some data-entry work of the parish. In the afternoon, when the other girls were away, the priest took the girl to his bedroom and raped her. He let her go home after commanding her not to reveal the incident to anyone. The girl said nothing to her family. She went to school, and attended mass at the local church every day. She had become pregnant as a result of the rape, but no one seemed to have realised this.
On February 7, 2017, the girl developed severe pain in her abdomen and was taken to a nearby hospital, which referred her to Christu Raja Hospital, Koothuparamba, in Kannur, run by nuns of the Sacred Heart Congregation. On examination, it was revealed that the girl was pregnant; she subsequently gave birth. She told her mother about the incident at the parsonage, after which the family took up the matter with Vadakkuncheril, who offered to pay the hospital bill of Rs 30,000.
After a series of attempts to cover up the matter, Vadakkunchery was arrested from Kochi in February 2017.