St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Priest visiting from India accused of sexual abuse

Published July 16, 2006

BONIFAY - A Roman Catholic priest from India visiting the Florida Panhandle has been arrested on charges of sexual abuse involving a minor, officials said.

Father Vijaya Bhasker of the Diocese of Cuddapah was charged Thursday with lewd and lascivious battery against a minor, according to the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee.

Bhasker was assisting Blessed Trinity Parish while visiting friends in Bonifay, diocese officials said.

The diocese prohibited Bhasker from performing any ministry after learning June 26 that an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor had been made against him, according to a statement on the diocese Web site.

A background check performed before Bhasker's June 3 arrival in the United States showed no history of inappropriate behavior, diocese officials said.

A Holmes County Jail official said Bhasker was still in custody Saturday and had not posted a $20,000 bond. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

[Last modified July 16, 2006, 01:31:51]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters