A convict from Kerala, who was accused of raping a minor girl, was sentenced to life imprisonment to death by a special court in Thrissur on Friday.

Pastor Sanil K James, who has already been serving a 40-year sentence, was convicted again. This time he was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl several times since 2013.

The 36-year-old pastor was sentenced by the Sessions court judge Nixon M Joseph under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Sanil reportedly raped the girl, who belongs to a scheduled caste community, thrice over three years. He committed the crime for the first time in 2013 on the auspicious occasion of Christmas. He repeated the act in 2014 when he raped the child at her residence. He raped her for the third time at his residence.

Both the kids who are from the school were too scared to inform this to anyone as they thought that its a sin to speak wrongly about a priest. However, one of the girls later opened up about the incident to her school’s counsellor.

While he has been sentenced to life now, Sanil is already in jail since last 2 months, serving a 40-year sentence for raping 12-year-old multiple time. The serial child rapist was convicted in March 2016 in the first case.

He was given two 20-year sentences i.e. 4-year sentence for his first case first under Section 6 of the POCSO act and another under IPC 376(2)(f). He was also asked by the then Special Court Judge KP Sudheer to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the victim. He is currently at the Viyyur central jail.

Sanil, a pastor at the Salvation Army Church in Peechi, hails from Nedunkandam of Kottayam and shared a friendly relationship with the parents of both the victims which he misused to abuse the kids.

Sanil was staying with his wife and daughter at Peechi when he committed these crimes.