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Orthodox priest arrested for sexual abuse

March 05 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India (UCAN) ­ Police in Kerala, southern India, yesterday [March 4] arrested a priest from the Orthodox Church for allegedly molesting a young girl.

Police said they charged 61-year-old Father K. G. Joseph, also known as Father Habeeb, for "outraging the modesty" of a 15-year-old resident at a home for the poor managed by the Syrian Orthodox Church.

The priest was later released on bail, police officer Velayudhan Kamalakshan told UCA News.

The girl made the allegation when police began investigating her elder sister's suicide. Both girls were residents at the home, police officials said.

The elder sister died in hospital on Oct. 24, 2009, after taking poison. Her family accused two priests of having sexually abused the girl.

They also accused two nuns who manage the home of poisoning the girl to cover up the priests' crimes.

During the investigation, the younger girl complained to the police that Father Joseph had abused her and her elder sister.

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