Another pastor has been arrested for sexual harassment in Tamil Nadu. He reportedly morphed pictures of women followers and used them to threaten them. A woman has accused him of filming her when she was taking a bath and using it to make her submit to his demands.
Benedict Anto, a Catholic priest from Kanyakumari, was arrested only a few days ago for sexually abusing more than 80 women. He had threatened them with videos and pictures taken during intimate moments. Even as his case rocks TN, another similar case has emerged from Sivagamipuram village in the Tenkasi district. Lay people of Pettha Nadarpatti filed a complaint with the Deputy Superintendent of Police against Stanley Kumar, a pastor of the Believers Church.
Their complaint said that the pastor had been sexually abusing women on the pretext of conducting prayers. Kalyani who filed the complaint, said he touched her daughter’s stomach on the pretext of praying for her stomach ache to be cured and misbehaved with her. Others have said that the pastor morphs the church-going women using videos taken from the church’s CCTV camera and uses it to threaten them. He demanded sexual favors and sexually abused many in this manner.
He also filmed a woman while she was bathing and used it to make her submit to his demands. Lay people say he gets the phone numbers of women attending church on the pretext of praying and sexually harasses them. Such incidents are on the rise yet the government doesn’t seem to be paying any attention to the crimes going on in churches. Political parties are more concerned about votes and try to woo minority communities through their religious leaders.
Women from minority communities too don’t seem to care about such crimes unless it hits them personally. In Fr.Benedict Anto’s case, he claimed during the investigation that he took all photos and videos with the consent of the concerned women and that he didn’t force or harass anyone. While consenting adults are another issue, it would result in innocents, especially women and children in vulnerable positions targeted by the conversion mafia, facing abuse at the hands of these sexual predators.