A 48-year-old vicar of a church was arrested on Tuesday on charges of sexually exploiting and impregnating a minor girl at Kottiyoor in the district, police said.
Fr Robin Mathew of St Sebastian's Church in Kottiyoor was taken into custody on Monday night and arrested in the morning under IPC Section 376 (punishment for rape) and the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, they said.
The alleged offence came to light after the 16-year old girl, a resident of Neendunokki near Kottiyoor, delivered a baby boy at a private hospital in Koothuparamba on February 7.
Based on an information from "ChildLine", police held an inquiry with the girl and her parents.
Initially, the girl's father told police that he was responsible for her pregnancy. However, smelling something amiss police questioned him further when he 'revealed' that it was the vicar who had committed the crime, police said.
Mathew, who went absconding meanwhile, was picked up from Chalakkudy in Thrissur district and brought to Kunnur.
Police also found the baby had been left in an orphanage at Vythiri in Wayanad District and shifted it to a government-run orphanage.