Machilipatnam: A pastor of a church raped a 24-year-old woman at Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.

The incident which took place on Sunday came to light only on Tuesday after the victim, a married woman, approached the police and lodged a complaint against the pastor, the 28-year-old Joel Racherlla of Emmanuel Gospel Fellowship Church.

Joel had been visiting the woman’s house for prayers for the past few weeks. The woman also used to go to Joel’s church for Sunday prayers. A few weeks ago, the pastor visited the victim’s house for prayers. He took some photos of the woman and also some selfies. Later, he threatened to morph her photos and upload them on social networking platforms unless she had sex with him. Joel also sent obscene messages and photos to the victim. Last Sunday, he visited the woman’s house and raped her when her family members were out.

Based on the victim’s complaint, the Inaguduru police led by sub-inspector B.K Raju registered a case against Joel under Section 376 of the IPC. A special team has been formed to arrest the accused who has been absconding.

The victim was taken to the government hospital in Machilipatnam for medical examination. The locals of Machilipatnam, on Tuesday, demanded the police take severe action against the pastor and alleged that he had been sexually harassing other women, too.

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