India, May 10 -- A day after Pope Francis issued an edict to check sexual abuses involving the clergy, former bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mullakkal appeared before a court in Kottayam on Friday to hear charges against him in a sexual assault case.

The case against Mullakkal surfaced in last June when a 43-year-old nun had complained to the police that he had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. When the police failed to arrest him, five fellow nuns had staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Later, a special investigation team was formed and it arrested him in September after several rounds of questioning. He was later removed from the post of bishop. After spending three weeks in judicial custody Mullakkal later secured bail from the Kera...