Trial of Indian bishop charged with rape to begin in November

Trial of Indian bishop charged with rape to begin in November

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur.

.- The trial of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur, who was charged with rape in April, will begin Nov. 11 in Kottayam. He has been accused of raping a nun repeatedly over the course of two years, and he denies the allegations.

The summons was issued Oct. 23 by a magistrate in Kottayam.

The nun who has accused Bishop Mulakkal of rape has complained against him to the Kerala women's commission, saying he his harrassing her and others through social media videos.

“In some videos on YouTube, the photographs of the victim is used, which will reveal the identity. The videos are intended to disrespect, abuse, intimidate and influence the witness, victim and the investigation team. This is a violation of the bail conditions laid down by the Kerala High Court,” she wrote in her complaint.

In August, a nun representing the alleged victim accused the defense of evidence tampering in the case and demanded that the real evidence be presented.

Bishop Mulakkal, 55, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

A nun, who is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, has said that Bishop Mulakkal raped her during his May 2014 visit to her convent in Kuravilangad, in Kerala. In a 72-page complaint to police, filed in June 2018, she alleged that the bishop sexually abused her more than a dozen times over two years.

Bishop Mulukkal was arrested in September 2018 amid protests calling for a police investigation of the allegation. He was subsequently released on bail, and he has maintained his innocence.

The bishop has claimed the allegations were made in retaliation against him because he has acted against the nun’s sexual misconduct. He said the nun was alleged to be having an affair with her cousin's husband.

He was temporarily removed from the administration of his diocese shortly before his arrest.

Tags: Church in India, Accountability, Clerical sex abuse, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Episcopal sex abuse