46-year-old pastor Alavala Sudhakar has been arrested by the Sarpavaram police in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh over allegations of sexual assault on a minor girl. As per reports, Alavala Sudhakar is a pastor in a village in the Kakinada rural zone of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh.
The pastor allegedly assaulted the minor girl on June 22. When the 10-year-old victim’s mother got to know of the incident, she filed a police complaint in the Sarpavaram police station. After which, the pastor was arrested and a case was filed against him under various provisions under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Pastor Sudhakar has been remanded to judicial custody by the court.
Sarpavaram circle inspector B Rajasekhar said: “The Kakinada-based pastor, identified as Alavala Sudhakar, attended a function in the city on June 22. While the function was in progress, Mr Sudhakar reportedly sexually abused the victim in a nearby thatched house.”
According to a local news report, the pastor attended a function on June 22, where the 10-year-old girl was also present. Sudhakar convinced the victim to go with him to a field away from the church, where the function was underway. Upon reaching the field, the pastor sexually assaulted the minor.
When the 10-year-old girl started screaming for help, Pastor Sudhakar stuffed a fifty rupee note in her hand and asked her to not tell anyone about the incident.
Only after the villagers and her family members exerted pressure on the minor did she divulge her ordeal, after which the victim’s mother approached the police with a complaint against the pastor.
Based on her complaint, Sudhakar was arrested and sent to judicial custody.
Crimes of sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by Christian priests has been a long-standing issue, which the Church authorities have often tried to brush under the carpet. Recently, a Catholic Church in Poland, which has been accused of covering up crimes of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy, acknowledged that it had received complaints of abuse from 368 boys and girls in the last three years.
Admitting the cover-ups, the Polish church’s Archbishop Wojciech Polak, pleaded for forgiveness from “those wronged and all those shocked by the evil in the church”.