Kerala pastor who raped 13-year-old girl multiple times gets life in jail

A pastor in the Salvation Army Church was sentenced to life imprisonment until death by the Thrissur special court on Friday for raping multiple times a 13-year old girl since 2014.

Pastor Sanil K James is already serving a 40-year sentence for raping a 12-year old twice during December 2013.

The pastor was initially convicted in March 2016 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Harassment (POCSO) Act.

The pastor had been slapped with charges under both POCSO and Indian Penal Code (IPC). The 13-year-old victim revealed the abuse to her teacher, who alerted a child helpline.

The issue was then brought before the Child Welfare Committee, which informed the police and a case was filed. The pastor was arrested after the medical report found the girl had been raped.

The trial was held in the POCSO court with the victim standing in a specially arranged box so that others could not see her.  The prosecution produced 32 witnesses, 16 documents and four pieces of material evidence. Public prosecutor Pious Mathew appeared on behalf of the victim.

James is currently lodged at the Viyyur Central Jail.