The Kerala Police on Sunday arrested a Catholic Church priest for allegedly sexually abusing minor boys at a shelter home in Kochi, The News Minute reported. Father George TJ, alias Jerry, is the director of the boys’ home run by the diocese of Cochin.

The priest had been abusing six boys at the shelter home for several months, the police alleged. The matter came to light after some children discussed the matter among themselves. According to, Manorama Online seven children fled the boys’ home on Saturday and told their parents about the sexual abuse. The parents then complained to the police.

A police officer told The News Minute that some of the children had gone out to play but returned after the curfew time. Following this, Father George asked the staff to not let the boys enter the premises.

“It was when these boys were standing outside the home that they, by chance, discussed among themselves the abuse they have been facing from the priest,” said a police officer from Palluruthy police station. “Until then, none of the children knew others were also abused by the priest and did not even talk about it to anybody. After this discussion, they were further afraid of the repercussions if the priest knew. They instead decided to apprise their parents of the abuse.”

The children told the police that the priest had started abusing them in December. Around 15 children, mostly from poor or broken families, stay at the home, the police said. “Some parents do not even have the means to look after the children,” said an officer. “So they make them stay in the boys’ home run by priests. We were informed by the parents that Rs 250 is given as fee to the institution. Children stay here and go to schools nearby.”

Father George was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. He was subsequently produced in a court and remanded in police custody.

The Catholic Church in Kerala has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault in recent times. Last year, former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal was accused of raping a nun. The Kerala Police filed a chargesheet against Mulakkal on April 9, seven months after his arrest.