THRISSUR: Thrissur Additional Sessions Court has sentenced a pastor to 40 years’ Rigorous Imprisonment for “sexually abusing’ a 12-year-old girl.
The punishment was awarded by judge K P S and the convict is Kottayam Karukachal native and former Pastor of Peechi Payikkonam Salvation Army Church Sanil K James (37). The convict was also asked to pay a fine of Rs 20000.
The incident related to the case happened in April, 2014. Sanil was arrested in February 2015.
Sanil used to befriend girls from poor families and harass them. The incident came to light when a girl revealed the matter during a counselling session at her school. Heeding to the suggestion of the teachers, the parents of the girl lodged a complaint with the police. When the girl revealed the incident to her girlfriend and neighbour she also recounted the same experience she too had undergone.
Charges have been framed against Sanil under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 that was formulated to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
The quantum of punishment awarded in this case is the maximum.