Local priest appears in court after arrest on child pornography charges

Crime

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Bossier City man and associate pastor at a local church arrested last week on child pornography and bestiality charges made his first appearance in court Monday.

The Rev. Seby Shan

Seby Chemmampallil, 36, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of pornography involving juveniles under the age of 13 (possession), two counts of pornography involving juveniles under the age of 13 (distribution), and two counts of sexual abuse of animals.

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport issued a letter to the Catholic clergy and the community shortly after the arrest announcing that Chemmampallil, known in the Catholic community as the Rev. Seby Shan, had been removed from serving as priest in the diocese. Chemmampallil served as associate pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in Bossier City.

Bishop Francis Malone, Catholic Diocese of Shreveport

“While the allegations against him do not, at this time, involve physical contact with minors, they nonetheless constitute serious violation of the law,” Bishop Francis Malone wrote, noting that Shan is “accused of Violating the Doicese of Shreveport’s Policy Concerning Sexual Abuse of Minors.”

Malone also reiterated the Church’s policy on sexual abuse and added contact numbers to report and suspicions of sexual abuse of minors.

According to the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, a joint investigation by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation and the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office after a tip came into the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to Chemmampallil’s arrest. Authorities have not released details of the alleged abuse or whether it involves minors connected to the church or Shelby’s role there.

Chemmampallil appeared in Bossier District Court Monday morning via video from Bossier Maximum Security where he is being held and told a Bossier District Judge that he could not afford a lawyer, so his case was referred to the Bossier Public Defenders Office.

He is being held on $200,000 bond.

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