March 6, 2015
The verdict is in for Abraham Azhakathu (pictured). The 60-year-old former Manning Priest was found not guilty of sexual assault and touching at Peace River’s Court of Queen’s Bench. Azhakathu was overtaken with tears of joy after he heard the verdict. Supporters of Father Abraham greeted him with words of encouragement. In contrast, the alleged victim’s mother showed an expression of shock and unhappiness after the verdict was read. Azhakathu was arrested almost a year ago after some alleged incidents happening during 2013. Defense Attorney Rob Marceau said during his closing statement the time-line of the alleged events didn’t add up. Prior to the alleged incident, Azhakathu had been on loan to the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan since 2009, and had served in the St. James the Major Parish in Manning. He’s a member of the Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle, whose headquarters are in Kerala State, India.