Mumbai Cops frame chargesheet against Fr Lawrence Johnson for sodomy


MUMBAI, Mar 2 (TOI) : Two years after his arrest, charges have been framed against Fr Lawrence Johnson (52) for allegedly abusing a teenage boy from his parish in Shivaji Nagar. The court framed the charges under section 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of the Indian Penal Code and sections under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The case will come up for hearing on March 10.

The prosecution said that on November 27, 2015, the victim visited the church with his brother. After prayers, the accused called the boy inside to keep a box, closed the door from inside and sexually assaulted him, it said. The prosecution said in a statement to the magistrate that the child said a similar incident took place in August 2015. It said the boy was examined on December 1, 2015 and medical evidence showed injuries to his private parts. The case is registered with the Shivaji Nagar police station.

Last year, the special POCSO court rejected the priest's bail plea. The defence said the priest was dedicated to the church for 15 years. It said he used to allow concessions for students in school fees and this was afforded to the victim and his siblings for some years; subsequently a false case was made up as it was refused.

The Archdiocese of Bombay had appointed a three-member committee to conduct an internal investigation. Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesman for the archdiocese, said, "The inquiry report has been submitted to the Vatican, which will decide if there is merit in the allegations. I am not privy to the outcome of the inquiry." The priest is receiving legal aid from the Conference of the Diocesan Priests of the archdiocese as part of his "right to defence".

The case will be a litmus test for the Catholic Church on handling such sensitive matters. Punishment could range from censure to suspension or dismissal from priesthood. For now, it seems disrobing Fr Lawrence Johnson, divesting him of priesthood, could take years, if it happens. Fr Nigel said, "The common practice in such cases that we await the court verdict before taking a decision. We do not want to be seen as influencing the legal process."
Meanwhile, Fr John Almeida, who has taken charge of the troubled parish, said the boy's family had left the locality. "We are trying to win back the community's confidence. The parish is split over the incident and we are careful not to take sides," he said.

  

Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • I J S Shet., Mangalore.

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    The truth and facts apart, is it not time that priests in general are not addressed as "Father/Fr" 'Guruji" any longer. All concerned must be motivated too. Thank YOU.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalorean lady, Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    I feel that the priest is innocent. Due to power of money some Opponents has fixed him, This is not good for entire christian community.

    DisAgree [27] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Richard Rodrigues, Niddodi

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    The church has to think to give priests the choice to leave their priestly hood after completing 15 years service to the community just like Indian Armed Force retirement.I heard that those completed 5. Years as priest in Mangalore dioceses are not getting parish to lead

    DisAgree [6] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    In my opinion this is BJP/RSS political ploy to malign the church.
    They are hell bent on to spoil Christians and the Christianity.

    JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
    HE BUILT THE CHURCH ON THE ROCK FOUNDATION.
    NOBODY CAN DESTROY NOT EVEN THE STORM
    NOR THE TEMPESTS COULD OVERTHROW THE CHURCH.

    JESUS IS THE ROCK OF THE CHURCH.
    HAIL KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
    THE FIRST AND AND LAST
    JESUS CHRIST AND HIS NAME BE GLORIFIED.
    PRAISE BE TO GOD AND HOLY BE HI NAME AMEN.

    DisAgree [38] Agree [47] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Let us trust Law of the Land ...

    DisAgree [6] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Jossey
    Some two and half years ago, I attended a function in the church at Deonar where Fr Johnson was parish priest. We had lunch along with this priest. He looks to be very dedicated and able. But, the circumstantial evidence in this case goes against him. We cannot trust anyone, since even the devil was once an angel. As you said, we have to trust the law of the land.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [47] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj, Manipal

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    Kya yaar Joesph bhai ... Please take a walk.
    Nowadays it has become a fashion that what ever happens either blame BJP or RSS... Aur koyi bakra nahi mila kya..... For God sake BMC election is also over to do the blame game.... You hate BJP, RSS... Its OK... Everybody has their choices.
    See same way what if I say in Asaram Bapu or Nityanand swamy case, Its an political conspiracy from Congress or AAP. My point of view is whether it will be a Swami, Father or Moulvi, if they have done a crime, then they should not be spared. Let the law do the talking.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj, Manipal

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    My point of view is whoever it is who has committed a crime, then they should not be spared. Let the law do the talking.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • rolf, Dubai

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    Dear Joseph. He is following his own scripture people of the book. May God forgive his sin put him in right path.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Asaram Bapu is any day better than Fr L Jhonson ...

    DisAgree [25] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pratap Rao, Bangalore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    What a sad incident! Why is the church silent after its internal inquiry? The report should have been made public and action should have been taken. In the Catholic church there are increasing number of cases of the kind. However this is not to point a finger at all priests. There a good section of priest who are decent and committed. I have met some of them. Allowing priests to marry is no solution. Some married men are involved in extra-marital affairs. What may be essential is that only the right kind of people with total devotion to God and the poor become priests and not those who desire to enjoy with liquor, sex and festivities. There is a need for a change of culture

    DisAgree [4] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lovjes, Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    "Allowing priests to marry is no solution. Some married men are involved in extra-marital affairs. What may be essential is that only the right kind of people with total devotion to God and the poor become priests and not those who desire to enjoy with liquor, sex and festivities. There is a need for a change of culture"
    - Pratap Rao, Bangalore

    The right kind of people, Pratap? Where do we find them? In any religion, priests and religious are all human beings just like you and me. In the beginning, they may be of right mind. Gradually evil things, worldly pleasures, personal interests and all sorts of allurements creep in. As long as one has human nature, 100% purity cannot be guaranteed. The solution therefore does not consist in demanding 100% purity from the so called "right kind of people with total devotion to God....etc..."

    The solution is in changing the system, transforming it into a more human and realistic system with existential approach and true compassion. If you want only celibate priests to offer mass and preach, you must be prepared to find evil ones among them. This type of scandals are bound to continue. If you have committed lay leaders to lead, then it is much better even if they commit mistakes occasionally. There would be less scandal. Biological and psychological fulfilment is there in married life and it is much more than in celibate life. Emotionally too they are better fulfilled. We can be either compassionate and forgiving to priests and nuns who go astray or simply condemn them. Of course women activists and child rights activists would demand strict action against the child abusers. Law of the land will have its own course as well.

    This is my opinion. People might differ. But let everyone please think deeply and make a sincere effort to think differently with an open mind and heart in today’s changing world.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    A very disheartening trend. Every Catholic Priest is considered to be a representative of Lord Jesus Christ, on this earth. This being the case, it is incumbent of priests/other ordained religious priests, brothers and nuns, to strictly follow the vows of Chastity, Poverty, Obedience (to their religious superiors). It is absolutely necessary to practice celibacy (detachment from family/family life/sexual relations in any form).

    Hope those religious who are unable to follow the strict guidelines set down by the Catholic faith, make up their minds to give up their vocation and decide to be a part of the laity, in the best interests of the Catholic faith and society at large.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • J.F.D SOUZA, Attavar,Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    2 - 3 days back there was a case of Priest impreganating minor girl at Kerala. Now another case that Priest involved in a Sodomy case at Bombay. Cant they control themselves?

    DisAgree [6] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • James L. Francs, Falnir

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    @ JF Souza, can human nature be controlled completely; up and downs are truth of life !!.
    It is true. When spiritual life fails, flesh rejuvenates or when light goes off darkness surrounds. Almost all present priests are rich, good in celebrating social life and not celibacy life...is evident soon after celebrating the Mass. One can lead a spiritual life by only fasting and praying.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • sudha, mangalore

    Fri, Mar 03 2017

    then why are we running our religious beliefs against natural phenomenon. Let us put al our religious rituals inline with nature theory .

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Lovjes, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Allow the priests to marry so as not to cause the little ones scandal and rude shock! All the cases of priests/swamijis etc.. shows religion is no bar. It is human nature that is beneath the spiritual surface! Blood is thicker than water! Love is better than lust!

    Before many more innocent boys and girls, young women and men suffer at the hands of priests, it is good to think seriously. Church leaders in particular, awake! Do not please cause more and more scandal to the little ones and shame to the entire community of believers.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Married priests might be a partial solution as married men or women too are found to break their marriage vows.
    In US many married pastors are found with their congregation members wives with illicit relationships.
    Unless people follow what they preach these incidents occur very frequently.
    In this case unless DNA samples were collected at the time of medical examination of the victim, the court has very limited evidence to judge the crime.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • L N Rego, Bendur

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Unless and until the priests and nuns lead life with true christian values such incidents will be on rise. In the report its mentioned the family has changed their location of stay, we in Mangalore also have many families who have left church just because of ill treatment by the priests. I humbly pray for the transformation of priests mind set...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roche Barghanza P., Molre

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Any charge sheet should be straight forward, Why took 2 years and still crime is not confirmed?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri, Karkala

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    The family left that locality...
    Seems like charges are very serious 😞

    DisAgree [15] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Enchina Ragale marayare....O saav yaaa...I think fake Fathers are giving tough competition to fake Swamis in this case..

    DisAgree [12] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Jaisa Raja ...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand, Karkala

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Satan is there to disturb mindset of those who worship God with utmost devotion. Some overthrows Satan and others fall prey to him...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • Goppi Monisshui, Mlore

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    2 years took to charge sheet ?
    Some thing fishy about about it.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sujith Nayak, Kudla / AUH

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    Nithyananda was comparavitly better.

    DisAgree [41] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 02 2017

    If charges are proved Fr Lawrence Johnson has go ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse


Leave a Comment

Title: Mumbai Cops frame chargesheet against Fr Lawrence Johnson for sodomy



You have 2000 characters left.

Disclaimer:

Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.


Security Validation

Enter the characters in the image