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Puthenvelikkara rape case: Priest gets double life term

Puthenvelikkara rape case: Priest gets double life term

Ernakulam: A Roman Catholic Church priest was on Thursday sentenced to double life imprisonment for raping a teenaged girl earlier in 2015.

The Ernakulam Additional sessions Court also ordered Father Edwin Figarez, a priest attached to the Lourdes Matha Church, Puthenvelikkara in Ernakulam district to pay a fine of Rs 2.15 lakh.

The court also found his brother guilty of helping the priest to go into hiding and has been sentenced to a year's imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000.

The Kottappuram Diocese had suspended Father Figarez from parish services after a pastoral commission appointed by the Bishop prepared a "preliminary report" about the alleged incident.

The case was that the priest sexually assaulted the 14-year-old in a church complex between the month of January and March in 2015, mostly when she came for confession.

In April last year, the mother of the girl complained to the police following which the priest went into hiding and was arrested later. In her complaint, she alleged that the priest abused her daughter many times when she sought his services for confession.

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