Old Pastor Sexually Abused 46 Girls in Children’s Home: Fact Check


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Story:

76 year old Pastor sexually abused 46 School Girls in Children’s Home .. Shocking incident in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh!

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(Telugu)
అనాధ ఆశ్రమం పేరుతో పాస్టర్ చేస్తున్న అరాచకాలు….
76 సంవత్సరాల వయస్సు ఉన్న పాస్టర్ ని పిల్లలు తాత అంటే….తాత కాదు మామ అనండి అని చెప్పి పిల్లలతో రోజూ సేవ చేపించుకుంటూ లైంగికంగా వేధిస్తున్న పాస్టర్.

Fact Check:

Various pictures, messages and videos doing rounds on social media claim to reveal a shocking incident from Ongole in Andhra Pradesh state of India. They mention a 76-year-old Pastor of I.E.R.F organization sexually abused 46 Orphan School Girls in Children’s Home. Although the girls were not orphans as such, the grave incident came to light in August 2018 and is unfortunately true as explained here.

Image of Rev. Kodavatikanti Joseph, Founder and House Director of IERF, Ongole
Rev. Kodavatikanti Joseph, Founder and House Director of IERF, Ongole

How the Pastor Sexually Abused School Girls

On 16th August 2018, officials from Andhra Pradesh Child Welfare Committee (CWC) went to inspect children’s home and UCLI School at Cloupet, Ongole. It is managed by India Evangelistic & Relief Fellowship (I.E.R.F) owned by the 76-year-old Pastor Kodavatikanti Joseph. Inspecting women officials interacted with the children asking if they had any concerns to share. During the process, over 40 girls started complaining about the sexual abuse they faced from the pastor on a regular basis.

The girls in the age group of 15 years shared their concerns crying helplessly and breaking down. They said the pastor made them do his domestic work, forced them to watch pornographic clips at night and even perform sex acts on him. They also said the pastor used to beat them if they disagree to do them.

Image of Pastor Kodavatikanti Joseph in a faith related activity
Pastor Kodavatikanti Joseph in a faith related activity

I.E.R.F is a society founded by Joseph himself and organized by his family. They claim to be involved in faith-related activities. The children’s home was giving shelter to around 150 students including boys. The organization collects donations from India and abroad to provide free education and food to orphans. Most of the students staying at the child care institute (CCI) are from lower economic backgrounds or are children of single parents.

Aftermath of the Shocking Incident

After the shocking revelation, the women officials from Andhra Pradesh Child Welfare Committee informed higher authorities and also police. They transferred the girl children to government-run Bala Sadan and informed their parents. However, like some messages suggest, the girls are not orphans as such. One of the videos in circulation is in fact a report from Telugu channel Visakha View.

Next day on 17th August 2018, police arrested the 76-year-old Pastor Kodavatikanti Joseph for sexually abusing 46 girls in the age group of 15 years. Consequently, Cases were filed in various sections of sexual harassment and assault on the children and he was sent to judicial remand. On the other hand, the Pastor denied all the allegations. Despite the police complaint, major news outlets did not report the serious incident. Meanwhile, women organizations in Ongole protested against the shocking and shameless incident. Some residents of Ongole said complaints of similar nature had surfaced against Joseph earlier also, but were suppressed.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact.

References:

In Andhra Pradesh’s Ongole, rampant sexual abuse of girls at child care institute reveals helplessness of survivors
Andhra pastor arrested in Ongole after girls narrate tales of alleged sexual abuse


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