Bishop Franco Mulakkal acquitted in nun rape case, bursts into tears after verdict

A court in Kottayam on Friday acquitted accused Franco Mulakkal in the nun rape case. The verdict was pronounced by Kottayam additional sessions court judge G Gopakumar. The verdict came after 105 days of trial.

Franco, who came out after hearing the verdict, hugged the counsel and burst into tears. He praised God and then left the court without responding anything. Those who accompanied the bishop said that they had expected this verdict.

Franco arrived at the court around 9.30 am to hear the verdict. He ente

red the court through the back door without coming into the eyes of the media. His brother and brother-in-law accompanied him. There was tight security in the court and Kuruvilangad Convent. Bomb squad also inspected the courtroom. He was accused of raping a nun when he was serving as the Bishop of Jalandhar.

This is the first time a Catholic Bishop was arrested and booked on charges of rape and sexual abuse in the country. Under the supervision of the then Kottayam District Police Chief Harishankar, Vaikom DySP K Subhash and sub inspector M P Mohandas led the investigation. Advocate Jitesh J Babu is the special public prosecutor. Advocate K Raman Pillai and C S Ajay appeared for the defendant.

The case is that Franco raped the nun 13 times at the Mission Convent in Kuravilangad between 2014 and 2016. Although she lodged a complaint with the Kuravilangad police on June 27 in 2017, they did not register her statement. The bishop was summoned for questioning and arrested on September 21, 2018 after the nuns protested publicly. Franco was remanded for 25 days. There was also a move to delay the charge sheet. The charge sheet was filed after the Sisters Action Council announced a strike.


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