January 29, 2005

Hindu priest convicted of rape in Britain

New Kerala

[World News]: London, Jan 29 : A Hindu priest in Britain has been convicted of raping a devotee of Tamil origin at a temple here.

Ramanathan Somanathan, 41, a priest at a temple in Thornton Heath near Croydon, south London, told his victim that she had been his wife in a previous life, and that god had reunited them.

He raped the 29-year-old Tamil woman on two separate occasions, once in 2002 and again in 2003, after which she became pregnant and had an abortion, the Croydon Crown was told.

The police praised the victim for the "tremendous courage" it took her to come forward and seek justice.

"This case has been particularly distressing for both the victim and witnesses involved. They ran the risk of being isolated by their own community," said detective Rob Buckell of the Croydon police.

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 06:58 AM