Pedophile priest jailed for three years in Germany

14th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

The 40-year-old clergyman pleaded guilty to 22 counts of abuse over a three-year period starting when the boy was 10.

Regensburg, Germany -- A priest who sexually molested an altar boy after his bishop reassigned him to a new parish following a previous conviction for pedophilia was jailed for three years on Thursday.

The 40-year-old clergyman pleaded guilty to 22 counts of abuse over a three-year period starting when the boy was 10.

He was arrested in August 2007 after the offences came to light in the parish of Riekofen in the southern German state of Bavaria.

The priest was given a probationary sentence in 2000 in another sex-abuse case involving a 12-year-old and ordered not to work with young people again.

His bishop transferred him to another parish without telling the community about his past and he began working with altar boys and organizing youth camps in defiance of the court's instructions.

The court heard how he asked the youngsters about their pubic hair and the length of their penises.

In 2003, he began abusing another altar boy who was 10 at the time. He stroked the boy's genitals and got the youngster to masturbate him, the court heard.

The court followed the prosecution's demand for the defendant to be sent to a psychiatric institution. A court-appointed expert warned the man would continue to offend if he did not undergo therapy.

Another expert said that although the priest deliberately targeted young boys, he was not fully accountable for his actions because of a personality disorder.

A dozen people demonstrated outside the court in Regensburg at the start of the trial in protest at the decision of Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller to reassign the priest despite his conviction.

Mueller has denied breaching church guidelines, which say pedophiles must not be employed in posts where they may come into contact with children.

DPA with Expatica

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