Police arrest Grand Island priest on sexual assault charge
ORD, Neb. — A Valley County priest is now behind bars after being charged with first degree sexual assault of an adult.
The Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic church in Ord posted on their Facebook page on Thursday saying father John Kakkuzhivil was placed under arrest on Wednesday by the Nebraska State Patrol.
This follows a November protection order against the priest.
According to court documents, a journalist said he invited her over for an interview, poured her a drink or two and hen she said she blacked out.
The woman claims she woke up to him sexually assaulting her and when he saw that she was awake, he continued to make advances.
After fleeing the home, she said he messaged her more than a dozen times saying that he loved her.
The Facebook post and a statement from Bishop Hanefeldt of the Diocese of Grand Island can be found below:
Bishop Hanefeldt has learned today, January 2, 2019, that Fr. John Kakkuzhiyil, a priest of the Diocese of Grand Island, has been placed under arrest by the Nebraska State Patrol in Grand Island and charged with first-degree sexual assault of an adult.
Most recently Fr. Kakkuzhiyil served as pastor of our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Ord and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burwell. On December 1, 2018, Bishop Hanefeldt offered Mass in Ord and Burwell asking the parishioners to pray for Father Kakkuzhiyil for his continuing struggles with depression and alcoholism.
On December 6, 2018 Fr. Kakkuzhiyil entered the CHI St. Francis Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program and was dismissed from there on January 2, 2019.
When Bishop Hanefeldt learned there was an ongoing investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol regarding Fr. Kakkuzhiyil, he placed Fr. Kakkuzhiyil on administrative leave December 15, 2018. Pending the outcome of the investigation and treatment, the administrative leave remains in effect.
Bishop Hanefeldt asks for your prayers for all who are involved in this matter and in the investigation.