AP NEWS

Trial begins for Nebraska priest accused of sexual assault

January 6, 2020 GMT

ORD, Neb. (AP) — The trial of a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a woman in central Nebraska is underway.

Television station KSNB reports that the trial for the Rev. John Kakkuzhiyil (kah-kuh-ree-AL’) began Monday after a jury was selected. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of forcible sexual assault.

Kakkuzhiyil was arrested early last year following a monthlong investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol after a woman told police he sexually assaulted her in November 2018 in his Ord home. The woman told investigators she blacked out after having a couple of drinks with the priest.

Kakkuzhiyil was the parish priest in Ord and Burwell at the time of the accusation. He was placed on leave in December 2018.