Priest remanded to judicial custody

Wednesday, Dec 9, 2015,18:57 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | A Catholic priest, arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl, was today remanded to judicial custody by a court in Ernakulam which deals with cases related to offence against women and children, police said.
A day after he surrendered before the investigating officials in Aluva, Edwin Figarez, the priest attached to the Lourdes Matha Church, Puthenvelikkara in Ernakulam district, was produced before the Additional Sessions court which remanded him in judicial custody till December 17, police said.
Police said its team probing the case would seek his custody for questioning.
Figarez surrendered before the police yesterday seven months after a lookout notice was issued against him after the Kerala High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
He had been missing ever since the High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on May 5.
The Church has suspended him from parish services after a pastoral commission appointed by the Bishop prepared a preliminary report about the alleged incident of sexual assault of the 14-year-old in a church complex between January and March this year, mostly when she came for confession.
In her complaint, the girl’s mother had alleged that the priest abused her daughter many times when she sought his services for confession.