A Kerala court on Friday acquitted former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun 13 times over three years in a convent, citing lack of evidence in a case that shone a spotlight on violence against women in religious institutions.
The unexpected verdict sparked a wave of condemnation, with supporters of the victim saying they will move the high court.
Kottayam additional district and sessions judge G Gopakumar said the prosecution failed to produce adequate evidence against the accused during the three-year-long trial.
“It is difficult to separate chaff and grain. Prosecution also failed to back its contentions with evidences,” the judge said in the 287-page verdict.
Mulakkal, 57, was accused of raping the woman 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to a convent in Kuruvilanghad in Kottayam, when he was the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The woman, 44, is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, a congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese.
News Source : Hindustan Times
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