Catholic priest accused of rape of 16-year-old surrenders
TUGUEGARAO CITY — The Catholic parish priest accused of molesting a 16-year-old girl in Solana, Cagayan last year gave himself up to the police on Friday, authorities said in a belated report on Saturday, March 4.
Fr. Karole Reward Israel, 29, assistant parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Convent in Solana, surrendered after receiving the arrest warrant issued on March 1 by Judge Dennis Mendoza of the Regional Trial Court-Branch 4 in this city.
The arrest warrant for Israel was issued for 20 counts of acts of lasciviousness, voyeurism, and rape filed by a 16-year-old student at a private school and a member of the parish youth ministry in Solana.
During the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) probe last year, the girl recounted the violations allegedly committed by the priest on her.
Late last year, cases of violation of the anti-sexual harassment, qualified seduction, violence against women and children, anti-photo and video voyeurism, and child abuse were lodged against Israel before the Tuguegarao prosecutor’s office.
Israel was caught in a rescue operation in Barangay Iraga on Oct. 18, 2022, after he allegedly molested the victim again inside his car near the Iraga Elementary School and Iraga Presbyterian Church.
But he posted a P183,000 bail bond on Oct. 20 for his temporary freedom.
The NBI said the girl, sent by her parents to the parish to serve God beginning in December 2019, was a parish youth minister serving as lector, commentator, and choir member on Sunday Masses, wedding and funeral Masses, and other Church activities.
The priest was ordained on May 24, 2021, and was assigned as assistant parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer in Solana.
They first met inside the convent as the priest was staying there and the girl was a youth minister. They later became close with each other, the NBI report said.
The priest allegedly first violated the girl on Feb. 8, 2022, inside his car. The girl resisted and eventually escaped, but the abuse escalated on later dates when the priest repeatedly raped the girl in various locations.
“The same process became a routine, which happened mostly at a motel/hotel, inside the car, and once at the convent. Their latest tryst was on Oct. 15, 2022,” the NBI added.
The priest allegedly even threatened the girl that he would release the sex videos he had secretly recorded of them if the victim would divulge their trysts.
Israel could not be reached for comment, and did not issue any media statement.
The Catholic Archdiocese in Tuguegarao has yet to issue a statement regarding the issue.
Parish priest nabbed after allegedly molesting … – newsinfo.inquirer.net
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