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Tamil Nadu: Catholic priest, who was also a school correspondent, arrested for forcing schoolgirls to watch porn

Maria Antony Raj, a 60-year-old the catholic priest has been the correspondent of the St Mary's High School in the Gandhipuram area of Coimbatore for over a year. He has been accused of forcing the girl students to open sexually explicit content on his mobile phone.

An elderly Catholic priest, who was also a correspondent of a school in Coimbatore, was arrested on Thursday for sexually harassing students of the institution.

According to the reports, Maria Antony Raj, a 60-year-old the catholic priest has been the correspondent of the St Mary’s High School in the Gandhipuram area of Coimbatore for over a year. He has been accused of forcing the girl students to open sexually explicit content on his mobile phone.

Reportedly, priest Raj forced at least five girls of the school to open lewd content on his mobile phone on multiple occasions. The affected girl students belonged to class 9.

Read: ‘Sex crimes committed on impulse, offenders deserve chance for reform’, Catholic priests oppose death penalty for paedophiles 

At first, the children informed their parents earlier this week, who in turn demanded the school principal to take action against the Catholic priest Raj. However, the school, which is run by the Coimbatore Diocese of the Catholic Church, did not act on the complaint.

As a result, the parents of schoolchildren complained to police and protested outside the institution on Thursday. The police registered a case at All Women Police Station, Coimbatore Central under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against Raj and arrested him.

Read: Indian Catholic priest sentenced to six years in prison for child sex abuse in US

L Balaji Saravanan, DCP (law and order) said that the accused has been remanded in judicial custody. The police officials said further investigations were on to determine whether similar incidents happened at the school. The affected children will be sent to counselling and medical check-up to know whether they were under any trauma.

AC Anitha, the school headmistress, said Raj was retired and had been removed from his post of the correspondent.

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