A Roman Catholic bishop was arrested on Friday in Kerala, India, following accusations that he repeatedly raped a nun for over two years.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal had been summoned by police on September 19, and after three days of interrogation over the accusations, he was officially arrested.
The Kerala diocese has denied the accusations and argued that there is “anti-Christian” sentiment involved in Mulakkal’s arrest, however, which has prompted unrest and protest from those supporting the nun.
“It is a fake allegation. We are all with the bishop,” the Rev. Peter Kavumpuram, a spokesman for the diocese, told CNN.
“There is an anti-Christian movement; people are trying to manipulate the truth,” he added.
Vijay Sakhare, inspector general of police of Kochi Range, Kerala, insisted that there is enough evidence to charge Mulakkal, however.
The bishop is accused of having raped the 44-year-old nun, who wasn’t named, on 13 occasions between 2014 and 2016. The woman has said that the alleged abuse occured while Mulakkal was staying in Kerala in a guest house belonging to the St. Francis Mission Home.
The charges against the bishop include rape, forced unnatural sex, criminal intimidation and illegal confinement. UCAnews.com reported that if convicted, Mulakkal could face life imprisonment.
Mulakkal, who was denied bail on Saturday, also pleaded his innocence.
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Source: Christian Post