Sanil K James, a pastor from Kerala was sentenced to 40 years of rigorous imprisonment under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act) Act for molesting a minor girl. The sentence was reportedly delivered by the Thrissur First Class Additional District and Sessions Court on 1 March, 2016.
According to the Hindu, judge KP Sudheer also slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on the pastor with the Salvation Army Church, Peechi. The 12-year-old girl, a seventh standard student, was reportedly molested by James, who hails from Karukachal, Kottayam district, in April 2014, at his quarters on the church premises at Peechi.
He was found guilty under IPC Section 376 (2) (rape) and POCSO Section 5 (S). It was reportedly judge Sudheer's observation that the crime committedby the pastor deserved harsh punishment.
This is also reportedly the biggest ever jail term given to an accused under the POCSO Act in the state, according to legal experts.
The case came into the spotlight after a complaint received by the Child Welfare Committee, Thrissur.