Violence against children © Nicolas Armer
In a child sexual abuse trial, for the first time in Italy, an archdiocese has appeared as a civil joint plaintiff. A court in Prato, central Italy, sentenced a priest to four years and four months in prison.
Besides, he must have 50.000 euros in compensation for the victim, as reported by the media. The man had been discovered by a passerby in his car last July while he was molesting a ten-year-old girl.
With the sentence, the judge remained slightly below the sentence of five years demanded by the prosecutor. The court refused to make its own compensation payment to the girl's parents. According to the lawyer for the Archdiocese of Florence, this was the first time a diocese had acted as a joint plaintiff against one of its priests. The attorney general saw this as "an important sign of a new awareness in the Church following the initiatives of Pope Francis".
Entlang threatened from cleric's office
According to media reports, the court ruling also provides for a series of additional penalties for the priest to prevent possible contact with minors. In addition, the man must undergo a criminal trial under canon law, where he is threatened with removal from the clerical rank.