Pastor held on rape charges in Chennai
A pastor was arrested by the Chennai police and remanded to judicial custody on Monday for allegedly raping a woman laity and cheating another woman who used to frequent his church.
The 53-year-old “Paadri” Selvaraj, running an independent church, Faith Assembly Prayer Hall at Ayvanaram in West-Central Chennai, was taken into custody on two serious complaints by the women, police said. The charges against him include rape, cheating and sexual harassment of women devotees.
According to one of the woman laity complainants, Mariyal (name changed), the pastor had allegedly “cheated her into believing that god had approved of a marital relationship with her for the past six years.”
Mariyal, a regular visitor to the Church, is already married and a mother of two children. She also complained that Selvaraj had also defrauded her of nearly Rs 3 lakh in cash and five sovereigns’ jewellery, claiming his super-natural powers.
Another woman complainant Sukanya (also named changed) accused the pastor of making sexual advances on her and allegedly attempting to outrage her modesty in recent months.
He had also forced her to depart with Rs 63,000 cash and some jewellery, it is alleged.
Two other women associated with this church also complained to the police that Selvaraj’s behaviour was far from exemplary as he had been trying to extort money out of them saying he had spent a lot to build the church hall.