Thiruvananthapuram: The Thalassery Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court on Saturday sentenced Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for raping and impregnating a minor girl in Kannur. The priest was found guilty by the additional district sessions court in Thalassery, which is the designated court for hearing POSCO Act cases.Also Read - Maharashtra Shocker: Minor Girl Raped by 6 Men in 2 Incidents Within Hours in Nagpur; 3 Held

At least six others who were named in the case were acquitted. Father Vadakkancery, the vicar of St. Sebastian Parish in Kottiyoor, was taken into custody on February 28, 2017, for raping a 16-year-old girl in May 2016. The matter came to light after the girl delivered a baby at the Christu Raj Hospital in Thokkilangadi and an attempt was made to shift the child to a childcare home under the church in Wayanad. However, the information leaked to the children’s welfare group, Childline. Also Read - Bihar Man Gets Death Sentence For Rape, Murder of 10-year-old Girl

Thereafter, a case was registered by Peravoor police and on February 28, 2017, Vadakkancery was arrested. The prosecution had chargesheeted Vadakkuncheril and nine others in the case, which was reported last year. The Supreme Court meanwhile allowed discharge petitions of three accused which included two nuns as well. Also Read - UP Shocker: After Failing in Rape Attempt, Miscreants Burn Woman’s Eyes With Hot Knife

Later that month, however, the girl and her parents turned hostile. The girl told the court that she was a major at the time of the incident and the relationship was consensual. Following the statement given by the girl, the court declared her hostile.

The trial was completed in December 2018.