A priest in India has been jailed for forty years after repeatedly raping a twelve-year-old girl who was a member of his church.
Sanil K James, also being investigated for raping another girl in his church, was convicted in 2014 of raping and sexually assaulting the child at a Salvation Army church in Kerala.
The girl was raped several times over a two month period by the thirty-seven-year-old priest.
Prosecutor Pious Mathew said, “The court said the priest deserved the maximum punishment for this cruel act,” sentencing James to two consecutive twenty-year prison terms without parole and also a fine of 20,000 rupees.
According to the country’s national crime records bureau, more than eighteen thousand children were sexually assaulted in India in 2014 with only a small portion, the most heinous cases, ever being reported to police.