Three accused in minor girl sexual abuse case surrender



Three persons, including the former chairman of Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC), charged with covering up the rape of a minor girl allegedly by a catholic priest in Kottiyoor, surrendered before police today.

CWC Chairman, Fr Thomas Joseph Therakam and one of the committee members, Betty Jose and Superintendent of the orphanage in Wayanad Sister Ophelia, surrendered before the Peravoor CI, Sunil Kumar, who is the Investigating Officer in the case, police said.

"They surrendered at 6.30 AM... they will be produced before the court in the afternoon after questioning and medical examination," Sunil Kumar said. The Kerala High Court had on March 14 directed the four accused, the three and one Thangamma-a midwife who had moved for bail,to surrender before the investigating officers within five days.

Fr. Robin alias Mathew Vadakkencheril, who was the vicar of the local church in Kottiyoor and the prime accused in the case wasarrested on February 28 on charges of sexually exploiting andimpregnating the 16-year-old girl. The victim gave birth to the child onFebruary 7 at a private hospital in Kuthuparamba in thisdistrict.

The child was taken to an orphanage at Vythiri in Wayanad district. The officials of the orphanage had alleged that the CWC did not take any action even though they had informed it about the newborn on February 8, a day after the infant was admitted there. Eight persons had been booked for their alleged role in the sexual exploitation and subsequent delivery of the baby by the girl, police said.

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