Priest arrested on false sexual abuse charges gets bail

August 4, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Fr James Soren on bail.

West Bengal, July 24, 2012: A priest of the diocese of Krishnagar, arrested on alleged sexual abuse charges by a class V boy under his care in the hostel, on 16 July and kept in Judicial custody at Jongipur Police Station in Murshidabad was granted bail on Tuesday, 24 July at about 4.00pm.

The alleged sexual abuse complaint of student Rahul Rai and his father against the hostel warden Fr James Soren took a different turn after an extensive interview by of some 30 hostel students by director of Don Bosco Prison Ministry, Berhampore Fr N.T. Scaria on 19 July.

The gist of two page interview Fr. Scaria submitted to the Investigating Officer, Sagordighi Police Station, Murshidabad was “hostel students said Fr James did not misbehave with Rahul Rai or any other hostel inmates.”

The boys also testified that at no time was the warden alone with Rahul Rai, as hostel boys were around the warden during the after dinner recreation as well as study.

The unfortunate molestation event occurred as Rahul Rai wanted to leave the hostel but his father was not allowing him… and so Rahul hatched the plot of using sexual abuse charges against the warden Fr James.

At about 9.45 pm on Thursday 12 July, the alleged victim Rahul Rai went up to the terrace with Kazhi Islam, a hostel boy, and asked Reena Mashi for her phone and called his father telling that Fr James Soren misbehaved with him. After that Rahul was seen very happy and jumping around.

On the following day, 13 July, Rahul’s father went to the hostel and used abusive language against hostel authorities and without verifying the facts rushed to Sagardighi Police Station to file an FIR (First Information Report) against Fr James stating that “Fr James Soren sexually abused his son Rahul Rai.”

Basing on the FIR, Sagardighi Police arrested Fr James.

Meanwhile, Salesian Bishop of Krishnagar Rev. Joseph Gomes has transferred Fr James Soren with immediate effect as assistant parish priest of Chapra parish in the neighbouring Nadia district.

Rahul Rai will return to Don Bosco School Monigram run by the diocesan priests of Krishnagar diocese, but will not stay in the hostel.

Rahul Rai’s father has also agreed to file an affidavit and withdraw the case of alleged sexual molestation of his 10 year old son.

– cmpaul

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