Catholic bishop on trial in India for raping nun

A Catholic bishop is accused of raping a nun in India after mobilizing nuns who demonstrated almost daily for prosecution.

He is accused of raping a nun several times between 2014 and 2016 when he was at the head of the Order of Missionaries of Jesus, but denied the charges during the investigation.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

While many of the world's clerics have been prosecuted in cases of sexual assault, the case is the first of its kind in India.

Franco Molakal was arrested in October 2018 and then released on bail.

He arrived at the Kottayam court in the southern Indian state of Kerala where the judge released him until the next hearing scheduled for January 6, 2020.

Kerala police collected several testimonies of nuns, priests and other bishops in a report that was more than 100 pages long.

The nun filed a complaint in June 2018 but police began the investigation only three months later after five nuns demonstrated almost daily to the Kerala High Court for justice.

The nuns who wrote to the Catholic and religious leaders of India and the Vatican accuse the church of not taking the matter seriously.

They have been criticized by their church and assert that their families have been harassed.


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