Kerala vicar arrested for sexual abuse of seminary student

A vicar under Punalur diocese was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor boy who had pursued theology in his seminary.

KOLLAM: A vicar under Punalur diocese was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor boy who had pursued theology in his seminary.

Thirty-year-old Fr Thomas Parekala a native of Kannur and vicar of St Mary’s Church at Puthoor, near here, had earlier slipped from police custody. He was nabbed from Usilampatti, near Madurai in Tamil Nadu by the special team with the Kollam Rural SP. According to Puthoor police, the incident took place in July 2016 at Holy Cross church seminary at Pullamala, Thevallapuram where Fr Thomas Parekala was the teacher.

According to police, the victim was subjected to unnatural sex by the priest for about one year after he joined the seminary to pursue theology. The boy has revealed that the priest had also abused two other boys during the period.

The incident came to light only last week when the parents of the 14-year-old boy approached the Child Welfare Committee at Thiruvananthapuram.

As the boy hails from Pulluvila near Kanjiramkulam in  Thiruvananthapuram, the case was first registered at Kanjiramkulam police station.

Then it was transferred to Puthoor police. The parents siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiay that during the course, the priest denied their son permission to visit his home and also threatened to kill him if he revealed the matter to anyone. It is said the victim one day managed to flee from the seminary hostel.

Last Sunday a team led by Poovar CI had taken Thomas into custody but he managed to escape through the back door of the police station. It was after locating his mobile tower location through Cyber Cell that he was nabbed from Madurai,” said an official with Kollam Rural SP Office.

Kottarakkara CI Shainu Thomas, the investigating officer, said the police would look into the boy’s revelation that two other boys were subjected to unnatural sex by the priest. Fr Thomas will be produced before the Kottarakkara First Class Judicial Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

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The New Indian Express