The sensational Kerala nun rape case has taken a new twist with a priest allegedly offering 10-acre land to the victim to withdraw the complaint.

On 30 July, Kerala police registered a case against Father James Erathayil for allegedly threatening and bribing a key witness in the case against Jalandhar Bishop Frank Mullakkal (pictured above), accused of sexually exploiting a nun for two years.

Fr James’ offer was recorded and the audio clip has gone viral.

The Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Church has asked Erayathil to step down from the responsibilities of Kurianad Monastery after hearing the 11-minute audio clip.

In the audio clip, he allegedly offered 10 acres of land to Sister Anupama who is a close friend of the victim to withdraw the sexual abuse complaint against Jalandhar Bishop.

Erathayil has been shifted to an institution of CMI in Idukki. He has also been removed from the posts of Prior of the Monastery and Manager of schools.

The 43-year-old nun in her complaint alleged that the bishop sexually abused her after summoning her on the pretext of discussing an important issue in 2014.

She alleged that he raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The nun said she complained to church authorities last December, but their inaction forced her to file a police complaint.

She said after filing a complaint, she was removed from the official position and allegations of financial crimes and mental illness were framed against her.

The nun had filed a complaint a month ago and later recorded her statement before a magistrate. She then said she would hand over the audio tape Erathayil to the investigating team.

The Jalandhar Bishop’s office clarified that no mediator was approached to settle the complaint.

Church reformers alleged that police were deliberately delaying the arrest to settle the case. Last week, police strengthened security for the convent where the victim nun was staying.