PANJIM: Father Newton Rodrigues as the last opportunity has been directed by Panjim Judicial Magistrate First Class Ms Sarika Phaldesai to appear in court on June 9th and depose in the criminal trial of Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents in the 2004 Ribandar Church case.
Father Newton Rodrigues’s deposition is crucial for the prosecution as the State finds itself in a dilemma with none of the prosecution witnesses so far having deposed against Adv. Aires Rodrigues. Infact with some of the witnesses going hostile the Assistant Public Prosecutor has had to cross examine her own witnesses.
The Court on 9th June will also examine a PWD employee Mrs. Cynthia Fernandes who was who was a member of the church committee headed by then Ribandar Parish Priest Fr. Newton Rodrigues.
In 2004 Adv. Aires Rodrigues was leading an agitation demanding action against Fr. Newton Rodrigues for having allegedly molested a 13 year old Ribandar girl.
While Adv. Rodrigues and others were charge sheeted for confronting Fr. Newton Rodrigues, the case filed against Fr.Newton Rodrigues by the mother of the 13 year old girl who was allegedly molested by Fr. Newton has been closed.
A First Information Report (F.I.R) was registered at the Old Goa Police Station on 18th August 2004 against Fr. Newton Rodrigues for having allegedly molested the minor girl. The F.I.R was registered against Fr. Newton Rodrigues under Sec 354 of Indian Penal Code and Section 8(2) of the Goa Children’s Act. The mother in her complaint to the police had stated that Fr. Newton Rodrigues had taken the minor girl to his bedroom on the pretext of confession and had molested her.
The then Senior Superintendent of Police (Crime) on 30th August 2004 had opined that the Fr. Newton Rodrigues be charge sheeted. The Director of Prosecution had also opined that it was a fit case for charge sheeting Fr Newton Rodrigues.
However then Governor of Goa Mr. S.C Jamir reportedly intervened to save Fr. Newton Rodrigues from being charge sheeted. On 14th July 2005 the case file against Fr. Newton Rodrigues was sent to Governor S.C. Jamir and on 31st August 2005 the police submitted a report to the Children’s Court that the case against Fr. Newton Rodrigues be closed. Fr. Newton Rodrigues was later relieved from the Archdiocese of Goa and moved to Canada.


Afedupgoan said...

This is a lesson for the NRIs whose wives and daughters are seen at the parochial house more than their own house
how many of them did confession in the priests bedroom they only will tell.
the bishop of Goa has to answer to his laity in Goa why he is not taking action against these rapist priests,
is he equal partner in their crime? The priest and the MLAs of Goa will not allow all of us to live peacefully
we have to do something.


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