Martin Joseph, accused of rape and torture in a Kochi flat, has been apprehended by police in Thrissur.

Kochi: The police from Thrissur on Thursday night taken into custody Martin Joseph Pulikkottil, who is accused of sexual and physical assault on a 27-year-old woman after being locked up in Kochi’s flat for almost one month.

After media reports on the incident, the 26-year old Thrissur man has been running since June 8.

It is being monitored by police in a forest area in Thrissur district near the village of Ayyankunnu, under the Peramangalam police station.

The hideout for Joseph was found in the region with the help of some 300 local people by the Shadow Police team of Thrissur and Kochi.

On Thursday evening, he’ll be taken to Kochi.

The police found that his Mundoor hometown had recently been tracking Joseph’s mobile phone.

The police had arrested three people for aiding the accused earlier. Joseph’s brother was also taken into custody and was let off after questioning. Four vehicles used by the accused, including a BMW car Joseph used to flee from Kochi, had also been taken to police custody.

The woman, hailing from Kannur, was also allegedly cheated of Rs 5 lakh by Joseph, police said.

The woman who fled Kerala in fear of Joseph’s reprisal was sheltered outside the state at the place of a friend. It is learned. Following the fact that the Ernakulam Central Police on 8 April, following the complaint of the woman, Joseph issued her threats against social media, a friend of the woman said.

Since February 2021 the woman had been illegally detained by Joseph.

Last year, he became friends with the woman who worked in the modelling sector and offered assistance for commercial shares. He had promised her a monthly salary of Rs 40,000.

Believing in Joseph, the woman gave him the money she had set aside to start a boutique in Kochi. They eventually became close and began living together. Joseph is said to have videotaped her during their private moments.

The woman questioned him after he failed to keep his promise of monthly returns of Rs 40,000. He became enraged and began to physically assault her. He continued to harass the woman, pleading with her to marry him.

Even though the woman had previously escaped him and returned to her Kannur home, he blackmailed her into returning to him, threatening to make her naked photos public on social media if she did not.

When she returned, he allegedly began to assault her even more, spraying water mixed with chilli powder into her eyes and whipping her with a belt and broom.

According to police, a preliminary investigation revealed that the woman was harassed from February 15, 2021, to March 8, 2021. When Joseph went out to get food, she escaped from the flat and sought the assistance of the police.

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