The 35-year-old pastor, was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for the "remaining period of life" by a court in Kerala for sexually abusing a minor girl at Peechi two years ago.

Delivering the verdict, Thrissur (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences-POCSO) Special Sessions Court Judge Nixon M Joseph also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the accused Sanil K James who had sexually abused a 13-year old girl in the Peechi church premises where he stayed.

The accused hailed from Nedumkandam in Kottayam district.  He belonged to the Peechi Salvation Army Church and had sexually abused the girl between 2013 and 2015, Special Prosecutor Pious Mathew said. 

The pastor, who used to visit homes of the faithful when the parents were away and slowly started sexually abusing minor girls. The incident came to light after this girl complained to her school teacher and later Peechi police registered the case and arrested him, Mathew said. "The judge sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for the remaining period of life," the special prosecutor said.

James is already undergoing imprisonment for a period of 40 years for a similar offence. He is now lodged in the Central prison in Thrissur.