TIRUNELVELI: A Christian priest was convicted for sexually abusing minor girl children at a home near here and was sentenced to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment by a Tirunelveli court here on Wednesday.
The accused clergyman, Fr Stephen Joseph (57) of Nazareth in Thoothukudi district was running a home for the poor and deserted children at Mookkuperi village. However, as the priest was charged of sexually abusing some girl children at the home, the Thoothukudi district administration closed down the home on January 2012 and arrested the priest.
On completion of the trial, this case against the priest came up before the second additional district court, Tirunelveli, for judgment.
The court on Wednesday convicted Fr Stephen Joseph and sentenced him to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment. The court too imposed a fine of Rs 8 lakh and ordered the fine amount to be used to compensate the affected girls.