Four other clergymen, including a bishop -- who had conducted an internal inquiry and found the priest guilty but failed to inform the police -- were arrested for allegedly covering up the case.
Back in July 2013, the 18 year-old woman was found dead at the home of Fr Arockiyaraj, whom she knew well since he attended his spiritual discourses.
The family -- residents of Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, an hour's journey from the state border -- alleged that he had taken her home in their absence.
The police, which has now filed a murder case, say the 37-year-old priest had sexually abused the girl for more than two years before murdering her.
The church authorities at the Coimbatore Diocese refused to speak on record.
Stanley John, secretary of Irayarasu Layman's Forum said, "The Pope had clearly said anyone who hides facts and information on child abuse has to be sacked even if they are Bishops. Now who would do this? They have abided by the Canon Law, but have not bothered to obey the civil law".
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