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Bangladesh: priest opposed cash settlement in rape case

CWN - February 23, 2011

A Catholic priest has denied reports that he helped to negotiate a cash settlement in a gang-rape case, enabling the perpetrators to escape prosecution in exchange for payment to the victim's family.

Father Bernard Tudu explained that he allowed the use of a parish hall for discussions after the rape, but disapproved of the resulting settlement. The rapists, who were wealthy men, paid the family of the 14-year-old girl who was raped. Father Tudu said that they should have faced criminal charges.

The victim, Serafina Mardi, committed suicide on February 20. She was reportedly distraught because she had been shunned by her neighbors after being victimized.

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