ORD — A May trial has been scheduled for the Rev. John Kakkuzhiyil of Ord, the Catholic priest who is accused of sexually assaulting an Ord woman in November.
Kakkuzhiyil, 62, entered a written plea of not guilty Monday in Valley County District Court to a charge of forcible sexual assault.
Judge Karin Noakes scheduled a pretrial conference for 10 a.m. April 16 and a jury trial for 9 a.m. May 6.
Kakkuzhiyil’s attorney, Mark Porto of Grand Island, asked the court for a change of venue. He is seeking a location outside of Valley County “for the reason that the defendant does not believe that a fair and impartial jury can be empaneled in Valley County,” Porto wrote.
Noakes will hold a hearing on that request at 10 a.m. March 19.
The prosecutor in the case is Valley County Attorney Kayla Clark.
Sexual assault/forcible-first degree is a Class 2 felony.
Kakkuzhiyil was released on bond Jan. 30 after paying 10 percent of the $150,000 bond figure.
Kakkuzhiyil had been pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ord and Sacred Heart in Burwell. Earlier in his career, he worked at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grand Island.