Priest arrested on false sexual abuse charges gets bail

Fr James Soren on bail.

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – A priest of the diocese of Krishnagar, arrested on alleged sexual abuse charges by a class V boy under his care in the hostel, on 16 July and kept in Judicial custody at Jongipur Police Station in Murshidabad was granted bail on Tuesday, 24 July at about 4.00pm.
The alleged sexual abuse complaint of student Rahul Rai and his father against the hostel warden Fr James Soren took a different turn after an extensive interview by of some 30 hostel students by director of Don Bosco Prison Ministry, Berhampore Fr N.T. Scaria on 19 July.
The gist of two page interview Fr. Scaria submitted to the Investigating Officer, Sagordighi Police Station, Murshidabad was “hostel students said Fr James did not misbehave with Rahul Rai or any other hostel inmates.”
The boys also testified that at no time was the warden alone with Rahul Rai, as hostel boys were around the warden during the after dinner recreation as well as study.
The unfortunate molestation event occurred as Rahul Rai wanted to leave the hostel but his father was not allowing him… and so Rahul hatched the plot of using sexual abuse charges against the warden Fr James.
At about 9.45 pm on Thursday 12 July, the alleged victim Rahul Rai went up to the terrace with Kazhi Islam, a hostel boy, and asked Reena Mashi for her phone and called his father telling that Fr James Soren misbehaved with him. After that Rahul was seen very happy and jumping around.
On the following day, 13 July, Rahul’s father went to the hostel and used abusive language against hostel authorities and without verifying the facts rushed to Sagardighi Police Station to file an FIR (First Information Report) against Fr James stating that “Fr James Soren sexually abused his son Rahul Rai.”
Basing on the FIR, Sagardighi Police arrested Fr James.
Meanwhile, Salesian Bishop of Krishnagar Rev. Joseph Gomes has transferred Fr James Soren with immediate effect as assistant parish priest of Chapra parish in the neighbouring Nadia district.
Rahul Rai will return to Don Bosco School Monigram run by the diocesan priests of Krishnagar diocese, but will not stay in the hostel.
Rahul Rai’s father has also agreed to file an affidavit and withdraw the case of alleged sexual molestation of his 10 year old son.

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12 Comments

Filed under child sexual abuse, priest arrested, Priestly sex abuse crimes, priests, Uncategorized

12 responses to “Priest arrested on false sexual abuse charges gets bail

  1. Now that Fr James is freed on bail,the general public would like to get his version of the happenings of the day on which the alleged crime took place.

  2. Sr. Joe Martin Nalubega

    It is being understood ! Always the devil is a lier, can show success in a short time but after that laughs at you ! Let us believe in God who is never a lier. May God’s name be glorified now and forever. But let us forgive all those involved in lies, they do not know what they are doing.

  3. In India, the accused person is guilty till proven innocent… especially in sexual abuse cases, the law is very stringent. It is immediate arrest for the non bailable offence and with a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
    Fr Soren’s case would be pending for “eternity” if the director of Don Bosco Prison Ministry Berhampore Fr NT Scaria had not run around for about a week persuing the case with the investigation, the Police and the Court, with total dedication. Cheers to DBPM India.

  4. well the media has given a very negative coverage of it. The media report in various mainstream media has declared him as criminal. Media must learn from it not to defame a person without a detail investigative report.

    • Ours is a “BREAKING NEWS” culture. hence, don’t blame the media for doing their job by going after the predators. It is up to the Church or institutions to put out the facts immediately… In this alleged molestation case of Fr Soren and the collateral damage to Don Bosco name, neither the diocese nor the Salesians put out any statement until the director of DB Prison Ministry Fr Scaria took the initiative to go after the truth to defend a fellow priest. Don’t expect the media to fight for us. We need to feed the media, so that they are restrained in spreading falsehood.

  5. There is another angle to the source of this problem of “molestation”- which is cultural. Italian and Indian culture allowes and encourages educators to show sincere affection by touching, holding etc.This is ok as far as it goes.
    On the other hand if one is dealing with British ,American,Australian,or
    Canadian curriculum TOUCHING a STUDENT IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN. For example you cannot touch children even while you want them to line up for an School Assembly
    DB educaion system( which sprang from Italy) conversely encourages such expressions. Ocassional hicups like Fr Soren’s unfortunate case is bound to happen if such practice is upheld.
    Time to look into it.

  6. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    It is good to be aware that “times have changed” .The modern media explosion plays real havoc on young minds more than ever.Look at the dangerous situation in our Schools today.WHY? A VERY GOOD QUESTION TO ASK BY US EDUCATORS. Children,as early as in Class VI,VII are freely exposed to the filth on internet and T.V. in the prolonged absence of the Parents ,from the day-to-day life pattern of the modern kids .So where to point the finger?
    I am just surprised how a kid studying in class V could come up with an allegation of sexual molestation.I personally feel the father who was so very quick to file an FIR, against the priest,without even trying to get to the bottom of the issue, is also Fully responsible,for the IMMORAL STATE OF THIS CLASS V STUDENT.
    If the parents try to do their HOME- WORK properly, issues of this sort will never come,up.
    This doesn’t mean that we custodians of morality can take things easy.Prevention is always better than cure. So let us also be very,very careful in our dealings with the modern generation,never giving even an iota of a chance for allegations of this sort.

    • The whole case smells rats. There definitely is something behind the scene. The children today have access to everything today. We really need to give a serious thought to it. The signs of time needs to be read now or it will be never.

  7. Sarto, I.P

    Congratulations to Fr.Scaria for making all efforts to get to the truth and to help for the bail of Fr. James. This is time the Church leaders make all efforts to prevent such incident/ allegations in institutions where the children are being looked after. Fr.James should state his versions to give the true picture

  8. Rev. Dr. P.B.M. Basaiawmoit

    Thank you.
    It’s very interesting and all the more, we should tread cautiously and not jump to conclusions at the very first surface report of an incident. The legal stand is that is innocent until proven guilty.
    Glad that this matter has come out constructively for Fr Soren and let’s pray for the 10 year old student in that, such malicious intent will not become a habit for him to have his own way and instead, restore his own credibility as he has long years ahead of him.
    Maybe he needs psychological counsel and spiritual nurturing.

  9. This incident is a graphic example of the lying, cheating, disgusting character trait of Indian people!!!

    I have experienced the consequences of this trait from my India ( punjabi) manager in Larsen Toubro Ltd ,Powai, Bombay, India !!

    As a consequence of this, I was forced to resign with immediate effect, on the orders of Mr. N.M. Desaie…MD and Cororate head of L&T, despite my 25 years service with this Company, during which I handled several 1st-of-it’s kind projects in the country!

    At this time, had been serving in the “Covenented ” Grade in the Company since the past few years, yet denied a “Managerial” designation!!
    REGINALD VAZ

  10. Three months ago, there was a similar case of one of the teachers being arrested on alleged molestation of a girl in the same Don Bosco School Monigram. One Salim Master had taken a disciplinary action against one of the girl students in the classroom in front of the class… The girl in turn complained to her parents accusing the teacher of “alleged molestation.” The police arrested Salim Master and it was Fr N.T. Scaria who interviewed the students and submitted the report to the Investigating Officer at the same Jongipur Police Station where Fr James Soren was lodged and got the bail for the teacher. The present case is a repeat from the same school, in this case it is a boy who made the accusation… what next?

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