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Indian priest charged with raping 10-year-old girl

Suspect allegedly lured victim by purchasing dress for girl's first communion, police say

ucanews.com reporter, Thiruvananthapuram
India

April 25, 2014

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Police in Kerala are looking for a 44-year-old Catholic priest who is accused of raping a 10-year-old girl three times.

The girl's parents on Thursday filed a complaint against Father Raju Kokken of St. Paul's Parish in Kerala. According to the complaint, the victim was sexually assaulted on April 8, 11 and 24.

The Thrissur district police charged the priest with rape. They also charged him under the information and technology act for digitally recording the sexual act.

City police commissioner P. Prakash told ucanews.com that police have started a manhunt for the priest, who went missing after the victim lodged the complaint.

Police have recorded the victim's statement in which she alleged that the priest molested her while she was changing into a dress the priest purchased for the girl's first Communion. The priest also recorded the sexual act on a mobile phone, police said.

"The girl belongs to a poor family and the priest lured her to his room and offered her a new dress for her holy Communion," Prakash said.

The priest's mobile phone was found to have been switched off since yesterday.

Trichur Archdiocesan spokesman Fr Geo Kadavil said the Church would take action against the priest if the allegations were true, the Indian Express has reported.

"We are trying to understand the truth. Definitely, he would face action as per the Church law," said Kadavil.

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