scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Vatican to put ex-ambassador to Dominican Republic on trial for sex abuse

Charged with child sex abuse and child pornography, the ex-Dominican ambassador was indicted on Monday and will face trial in July 11.

By: Associated Press | Vatican City |
June 15, 2015 5:21:43 pm
Vatican City, Jozef Wesolowski, ex-Dominican Ambassador, Sex abuse charge, child sex abuse, child pornography, Vatican criminal court, Vatican City news, Dominican Republic news, Europe news, World news A view of St. Peter Square at the Vatican City as Pope Francis celebrates the Easter Mass on Sunday. (Source: AP)

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been indicted on charges he sexually abused young boys in the Caribbean country and had child pornography on his computer and will stand trial next month in a Vatican court.

The Holy See said Monday that Jozef Wesolowski will have his first hearing July 11, the first time such a high-ranking Vatican official will stand trial for sex abuse.

[related-post]

The Holy See recalled Wesolowski in 2013 after rumors surfaced in Santo Domingo that he allegedly paid shoeshine boys to masturbate. Wesolowski has since been defrocked and placed under modified house arrest inside Vatican City pending a decision by the Vatican criminal court on whether to indict him.

That decision came June 6, when the Vatican prosecutor asked the head of the Vatican City State tribunal to indict him — a decision that was announced Monday.

The case has been highly sensitive, given that the Polish-born Wesolowski was an ambassador of the Holy See — a direct representative of the pope and not just one of the world’s 440,000 priests — and had been ordained both a priest and a bishop by St. John Paul II.

Last year, a Holy See tribunal found him guilty under canon law of abusing young boys and defrocked him, the harshest sentence under church law that can be meted out. Now, the case goes to the Vatican’s criminal courts, which can impose jail time if he is found guilty.

As a papal diplomat and citizen of the Vatican City State, Wesolowski is also subject to the jurisdiction of the Vatican City State, which in 2013 updated its laws to specifically criminalize possession of child pornography.

The Vatican said Wesolowski is accused of having porn while he was in Rome from August 2013, when he was recalled, until his arrest Sept. 22, 2014, meaning that the new law can apply.

The 2013 legislation also specifically criminalized sexual abuse of children, but the accusations against Wesolowski stem from before the law was passed, meaning the old law would presumably have to apply.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement