Octogenarian Dutch priest heard in child sex abuse case
An 88-year-old former priest has been interrogated about his involvement in sexual abuse in the 1970s. The public prosecutor's office in The Hague ordered the Dutch ex-priest's interrogation when a victim of the man asked the prosecutor about a complaint he had registered against the clergyman in 1998.
The plaintiff said that as a boy aged ten the priest took him on a weekend trip to the resort of Knokke in Belgium, where he was abused by four other men.
Although the facts are out-of-date, having occurred 35 years ago, the prosecutor decided to ask the priest, named only as Jan N., to co-operate.
"He willingly talked to us," a spokesman for the prosecutor told daily . Father Jan N. was a member of the Don Bosco Salesian Order in Rijswijk, near The Hague. He was arrested in 1979, and confessed, but was never charged. The prosecutor was unable to explain why the case was dropped at the time, as the files have been destroyed since.
Despite his 1979 confession, Father Jan was given another job as a priest in Terneuzen, where he again abused boys. He was brought to trial and found guilty in 1990.
Sources close to the prosecutor's office told that Jan N. acknowledged that the man who recently asked for information had been among the boys he abused. It is not clear whether any new facts have emerged.
In February, reporters from and RNW jointly revealed cases of abuse in the Roman Catholic boarding school at the Don Rua monastery in the town of 's-Heerenberg. Don Rua also belongs to the Salesian Order.
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