Catholic World News

Indian bishop, priests arrested for withholding evidence in woman's death

August 19, 2016

Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore, India, has been arrested, along with three priests of the diocese, and charged with withholding information about the suspicious death of a young woman.

Fathima Sofia was found hanging in the rectory of a church in Chandrapuram in July 2013. After originally ruling the death a suicide, police reopened their investigation last year, at the prompting of the deceased woman's mother, who charged that her daughter had been molested by the pastor. The accused priest, Father H. Arockyaraj, was arrested last year; he has subsequently been laicized, a diocesan official said.

Bishop Lephonse and three priests are now accused of suppressing evidence of a crime, and/or giving false information to police detectives. 


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