Bangalore rape of novice nun untrue say Indian church officials

(Photo: REUTERS / Stringer)A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest in the southern Indian city of Bangalore July 19, 2014. Hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday held a protest rally demanding justice after a 6-year-old student was allegedly raped by two staff members within a school's premises in the city on July 2, the demonstrators said.

A widely-covered story on how an Indian novice nun was allegedly raped within a monastery compound in Bangalore in July has turned out to be untrue say Indian church officials.

Indian church officials expressed regret after authorities determined the story to be false after an investigation and further questioning on the girl.

"We are embarrassed. I have no comments on this," Bangalore Archbishop Bernard Moras told Catholic News Service.

Police detained the girl and later sent her to a juvenile facility.

The girl claimed that two men rang the convent's bell and when she answered the door, they barged in and assaulted her.

She said she could not remember what happened, insinuating that the suspects drugged her before the alleged rape occurred.

The tale was so disturbing that Moras condemned the attack in a press statement, and called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

The case likewise gathered widespread interest, with local media monitoring closely the incident.

But "persistent questioning" by counsellors from the church, as well as the police at the hospital could not produce the necessary details that could help solve the crime.

Eventually, the girl is said to have caved in and admitted making the story up.

Sister Mary Margaret, secretary of the Conference of Religious in India's Bangalore state, said the girl had been sexually abused by a friend during a festival event at their school in Andhra Pradesh state, which was near the novitiate.

Fearing that the abuse she received might result into a pregnancy, the girl "enacted the drama," according to the nun.

The girl had joined the Holy Nativity Convent's "come and see" program in June where potential novices can experience living inside a convent.

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