A CATHOLIC priest accused of rape and multiple allegations of sex related crimes was yesterday placed in police custody for his own safety.
The Magistrates Court in Tavua was told that Father Nemesio Kolikoli, 50, should be held in protective custody as tension was high in Vatukoula, where he served as parish priest.
State prosecutors told Magistrate Samuela Qica the clergy would be harmed if he was released back into the community because of the tension created by his alleged acts.
Father Kolikoli was charged with one count of rape and three counts of indecent assault following a complaint lodged by a 21-year-old on February 24.
The charges are for incidents dating back to 2004.
Yesterday the court was also informed that the application for remand was made because Father Kolikoli was facing similar allegations from five other victims.
Police prosecutors confirmed there were six victims in total.
Kolikoli's application for bail, so he could conduct a church service on Sunday, was denied.
The case has been adjourned to March 5 when the remaining charges are expected to be read.