|Robin Vadakkancheril escorted by police.|
(Photo via Google News)
A priest by the name of Robin Vadakkancheril from Kerala, India was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping and impregnating a minor, a crime he committed several years ago. As a vicar of the St. Sebastian Church, what brought this case to light was the fact that in 2017 his victim delivered a child. An anonymous caller reported this directly to Childline, a foundation which protects the rights children living in India. An investigation immediately took place shortly after Childline heard of the allegations from the anonymous caller.
What makes this case even more sinister is the fact that his legal team tried to shift blame onto the victim's father, who was unaware of the priest's actions originally. Once the father found out about what the priest did to his daughter, he tried take the blame as he didn't want Vadakkancheril to be punished nor his daughter. In addition, his daughter (the victim of the crime) originally told the court that she wanted to eventually marry Vadakkancheril.
In addition, several employees of the St. Sebastian Church were charged with conspiracy and destruction of evidence. These employees include one priest and six nuns. They also ordered a probe on the victim's parents for trying to hide the crime. The family comes from a lower caste (or class) and found the case created a lot of pressure on them. The parents even went so far to tell their own daughter that the labor pain she was feeling was just a very bad stomach ache. Crazy right?
Originally ten people total were charged; however, two doctors and administrator of the hospital both appealed the charge via Supreme Court. As a result, their cases were dismissed. One of the doctor's in this case eventually offered very vital testimony which helped the priest get in trouble for what he did.
The court verdict was determined by the gynecologist's report from the hospital where Vadakkancheril's victim originally delivered the child. A paternity test determined the father of the child was, in fact, Robin Vadakkancheril. And it was the statements provided by one of the doctors which charged the priest for this crime.