Another nun accuses Bishop Franco Mulakkal of sexual abuse

Kochi: A nun from Kannur on Friday alleged that she was sexually abused by the Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal between 2015 and 2017.

The 35-year old victim is also a witness in the rape case against Mulakkal, who was arrested in 2018 following allegations by another nun that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her between 2014 and 2016.

The nun belongs to Missionaries of Jesus, the same religious institute as the first nun who has accused Mulakkal of raping her multiple times.

She is the 14th witness in the rape case against the Bishop and her revelations were part of her statement in the case that was recorded by police in 2018.

In her statement, she said, “Franco made sexually coloured and lewd remarks to her over the phone for a period of 2 years from 2015 to 2017. I used to call him regarding issues related to the convent, and it turned into a friendship. Between 2015 and 2017, we used to send messages on WhatsApp, call each other and do video calls. I was only looking for friendship. But by the end of 2015, his remarks became sexual in nature.”

“Mulakkal continued to talk obscene things. Later, he would talk about things that were sexual in nature and did video chats describing his body and mine, too,” she added.

She said she kept quiet as she was scared of the bishop. In her witness statement, she alleged that in 2017 when the bishop visiting her convent hugged and kissed her.

“Between April and May 2017, I lived in a convent in Kerala. Franco came to the convent to conduct a probe about my conduct. Franco called me to his room and asked me for an explanation. While I was leaving, he hugged me and kissed me on my forehead,” the nun said in her statement.

The statement is also part of the chargesheet against Franco in the case.
Convener, Save Our Sisters (SOS), Riju Kanjoorkaran alleged that the convent tried to silence the nun after she gave the statement.

“After the nun gave this statement, the convent tried to silence her by not allowing her to leave the convent or talk to anyone outside. It was only recently that we got to know about the treatment meted out to her by the convent authorities. That is why we decided to release the statement she gave the police in 2018,” Kanjoorkaran told ANI over the phone.

Bishop Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy in India, was arrested in 2018 following allegations by a nun that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her at Kuravilangad convent between 2014 and 2016, a charge that he denies.

A court in Kerala’s Kottayam district, last year in November had extended the bail of former Jalandhar Bishop and also adjourned the matter till January 6, 2019.

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