Cases of priests molesting minors keep coming to light with the latest incident being reported in Kerala. Father George TJ aka Jerry, from Kochi, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly sexually assaulting minor boys at a children's home.
The priest was allegedly assaulting six minors since December 2018. The abuse was accidentally revealed when some of the victims spoke among themselves after they were punished for coming late to the home. According to a report by The News Minute, they had gone to play and came back after curfew. The priest did not let the boys come in as a punishment.
It was then they brought up the abuse they faced at the hands of the priest and they realised that they were not the only ones.
Until then, none of the children knew others were also abused by the priest and did not even talk about it to anybody. After this discussion, they were further afraid of the repercussions if the priest knew. They instead decided to appraise their parents of the abuse," an official at Palluruthy police station was quoted as saying by TNM.
The boys decided that it will not be safe if the priest comes to know of these discussions and they went directly to their parents who alerted the police. Since the next day was a Saturday, the boys could go home and narrated their ordeal to their parents of the abuse.
The home where around 15 boys stay is situated in Kochi and is run by Carmelites under the diocese of Cochin. According to the official, the boys staying there come from families with financial problems and are under the care of either their mother or father. The parents cannot afford to take care of them permanently and send them to the home during the week.
"We were informed by the parents that Rs 250 is given as fee to the institution. Children stay here and go to schools nearby," the official said.
The case registered against the priest is under section 377 (unnatural offences) under the Indian Penal Code and various sections of POCSO Act including sections 7 (sexual assault), 8 (sexual assault), 9D (aggravated sexual assault) and 10 (aggravated sexual assault).