A court in Kerala, India has acquitted Catholic bishop, Bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of raping a nun.
The court ruled that there was no proof to support the prosecution’s case against the 54-year-old Bishop.
According to the nun, Mulakkal raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 while he was visiting her convent in Kerala. In 2018, she filed a petition to the Vatican and wrote an open letter to Pope Francis’ representative in Delhi describing her allegations against the bishop.
Following the publication of her story, a group of nuns standing by her joined activists in demanding justice and the arrest of her bishop. Later that year, the bishop was arrested.
The lawyers who fought the case expressed their surprise at the bishop’s acquittal.
However, speaking with CBS News, Special Public Prosecutor Jithesh J. Babu said, “”We would definitely challenge the verdict in a higher court after going through the order in detail”.
“The verdict is shocking, the victim has been denied justice, but we take it as a challenge,” Sister Lucy Kalappura, another close associate of the nun in question, told CBS News. “We are all with our sister to support her… this is just a step in the legal process, we will fight the case in a higher court.”