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Australian held for abusing orphans

india Updated: Nov 15, 2008 01:25 IST
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An Australian volunteer working in an orphanage here was arrested on the charges of sexually assaulting children of the home, police said on Friday.

The accused, identified as Paul Allen, 46, was tracked down in Andhra Pradesh following complaint by the orphanage authorities and brought here on Thursday, they said, adding that he was remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a local court.

The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint lodged with the Sadar police station here by Mary Ellen, founder of Mary Ellen Berger (MEG) which runs the orphanage on the outskirts of the town, police said.

Quoting the complaint, the police said Allen had been working in the orphanage since its inception in 2002. Ellen regularly visits orphanages, run by the foundation in Orissa as well as Andhra Pradesh, on inspection, they said.

During a visit to Puri last month, she was told that Allen had been indulging in paedophilia with the inmates of the orphanage, threatening to move them out of the home, they said, adding Allen was staying in a guest house in the premises of the orphanage, housing 85 children, including 45 girls.

After getting complaints from the inmates, aged between five and 18 years, Ellen lodged an FIR following which police registered a case against Allen for sexual assault, harassment and abuse.

A team was then deputed to Andhra Pradesh to nab the accused, who was also facing similar case in the neighbouring state, police added. Allen and some of the inmates were sent for medical examination.