Thursday, 29 October, 2020

Church sexual abuse: French priest jailed for five years

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Bernard Preynat admitted abusing dozens of young children as a scout chief

A French priest has been jailed for five several years for sexually abusing dozens of children in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

Bernard Preynat, 74, admitted abusing boy scouts even though a scout leader in Lyon.

All through his demo, he had told the court docket he experienced not recognized how significant or grave his crimes were being.

“It took me time to find out it was completely wrong and condemned given the age of the little ones,” he explained in January.

Preynat assaulted at the very least 80 young boys involving the ages of seven and 15. Ten of his victims testified at the 4-working day trial.

The abuse took spot in between 1971 and 1991.

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Prosecutors sought an eight-12 months jail time period, and accused Preynat of “shattering” his victims’ life.

Past July, Mr Preynat was defrocked – stripped of his clerical position – after a church tribunal ruled he had dedicated “legal functions of sexual character towards minors under [the age of] 16”.

Associates of victims also accused Preynat’s excellent, Philippe Barbarin, of masking up the abuse.

Mr Barbarin, who became archibishop of Lyon in 2002, was initially handed a six-month suspended sentence in March 2019 for not reporting Preynat’s crimes, but this conviction was overturned by an appeals court in January.

At the time his attorney hailed the verdict, stating the court had judged “the cardinal in no way supposed to hinder justice”.

Mr Barbarin has admitted he had regarded of “rumours” about Preynat as far back as 2010, but that he only became conscious of abuse immediately after a discussion with a sufferer in 2014. He later on knowledgeable the Vatican of the allegations, and taken out Preynat from his position – but under no circumstances knowledgeable police.

The allegations then grew to become community in 2015.

Pope Francis accepted Mr Barbarin’s resignation earlier this thirty day period.

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