The Devanahalli police arrested a 68-year-old priest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl on Tuesday evening. The accused, Venkataramanappa, a resident of Chickballapur, had temporarily moved to his daughter’s house to take over the duties of his son-in-law who is also a priest as the family had to leave the city for a short while.
“The son-in-law asked the accused to perform the daily rituals at the temple until he returned,” said the police. On Tuesday evening, after he moved into their house, which is adjacent to the temple, Venkataramanappa saw the girl playing outside. “Both, CCTV camera footage and eyewitness accounts reveal that he lured her into the house promising her snacks,” said a senior police officer.
Meanwhile, the mother of the girl started worrying when she did not return home. “Unable to find her anywhere, she started asking residents if they had seen her daughter. A flower vendor told the mother that he saw the girl going into the priest’s house,” the police officer added.
The mother along with neighbours went to the priest’s house to find the girl crying outside. The girl narrated her ordeal even as people started gathering at the spot.
As the situation started to get tense, the police arrived at the scene, and detained the accused. “The girl was taken to a hospital for a medical examination where doctors confirmed that she was raped. Based on the medical report, eyewitness accounts, and CCTV camera footage, Venkataramanappa was arrested under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and also under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.”
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