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2014 Cuddalore rape case: Christian Priest sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping two minors, 15 others convicted

Both minor girls were sexually assaulted by the convicts and they were later trafficked to various places in Tamil Nadu including Salem, Panruti, Vadalur, Virudachalam and Ulundurpet, where they were sexually assaulted by several men.

Last Monday, a special Mahila Court in Cuddalore delivered an important judgement sentencing a church priest to 30 years in prison and nine others to life in prison for their involvement in the horrifying 2014 Tittakudi rape case, which involved two minor girls.

According to the reports, the court had found 16 of the accused guilty of various charges such as abduction and under provisions of the POCSO Act, including a Christian priest Aruldoss, who had sexually assaulted the minors and had forced them to watch pornography. He was sentenced to a jail term of 30 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh.

The gang’s kingpin, Anbazhagan from Salem has been sentenced to life in prison and a fine of Rs 3.21 lakh, while another convict Anandaraj was sentenced to four life terms in prison and a fine of Rs 2.1 lakh. Selvaraj was sentenced to three life terms and fine of Rs 30,000. Mohan Raj and Mathivanan both were sentenced to two life terms each and fines of Rs 2 lakh. Fathima was also sentenced to two life terms with a fine of Rs 4.4 lakh. Sridhar, the driver who took the children to different places in the state, was sentenced to two life terms and a fine of Rs 4.4 lakh. Kala and Lakshmi were awarded two life terms and a fine of Rs 4.2lakh

Special Public Prosecutor K Selvapriya, said a 13-year old victim was studying in school at Tittakudi, while a woman who ran a hotel lured her and coerced the minor into sexual intercourse with her husband and other men during 2014 Pongal.

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Shockingly, they pressurised the victim to bring another minor girl in order to let her go. The first minor victim took another 14-year-old girl from her neighbourhood to the woman. Reportedly, both minor girls were sexually assaulted by the men and they were later trafficked to various places in the state including Salem, Panruti, Vadalur, Virudachalam and Ulundurpet, where they were sexually assaulted by several men.

Meanwhile, the children managed to escape and reached Tittakudi where they reported the incident to the police and identified 19 accused, including the idly shop owner Tamilarasi and her husband Satheesh. Seventeen people were arrested, including the Christian priest Aruldoss in connection with the case.

The country has been rocked by repeated rapes and other abusive incidents at Churches, as recently Franco Mulakkal, a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, was arrested and released on bail later for allegedly raping a 44-year old nun at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014. Similarly, Father Johnson V Mathew, a priest of Malankara Orthodox church accused in the rape and sexual abuse of a married woman belonging to the fold was arrested in July.

The horrific rape occurrences at Churches are turning out be a grave issue in the country, as another 60-year-old pastor named Chandra Kumar belonging to a local church in Nagaland was arrested for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.

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