Priest jailed in Germany for years-long child sexual abuse

26th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

A German court jailed a Roman Catholic priest for six years Thursday after convicting him of 250 counts of sexually abusing three boys over a seven-year period, an official said.

The 46-year-old priest, who was arrested in July, admitted during the trial to sexually abusing the boys, aged nine to 15, whose families the priest knew, a court spokesman said.

"Due to the high number of cases of sexual abuse, many of which were cases of aggravated abuse, he was handed a total sentence of six years," the spokesman said.

Prosecutors at the state court in the northern German city of Brunswick said one of the victims had been abused 243 times between 2004 and 2006 after the priest befriended him and his widowed mother.

Sexual abuse of all three boys sometimes took place during weekend sleepovers and on short trips, the prosecution said.

Diocese officials welcomed the verdict and said the priest would also face prosecution under Church law.

Pope Benedict XVI, who is German, met victims of sexual abuse by priests during a visit in September to Germany, which was rocked in 2010 by revelations that hundreds had been molested mainly in Catholic institutions decades ago.

© 2012 AFP

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