Spanish ex-priest sentenced to 30 years for abusing minors

Sep 12, 2022, 10:02 PM | Updated: Sep 13, 2022, 10:04 am

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a 30-year prison sentence a lower court had imposed on a former priest for sexually abusing seven boys he taught at a seminary boarding school.

The court found that the abuse took place between 2013 and 2016 at the school in the south-central city of Ciudad Real. The victims were aged around 13 at the time.

During swimming lessons, the defendant played games with some of the boys, pulling them into the water by grabbing their genitals, the court said, and forced some of his victims to stand naked in front of him as a “test of trust.”

In 2016 a church court defrocked the priest after receiving complaints about his behavior, and referred him to civil courts. In 2020 he was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The former priest appealed to the Supreme Court, which on Tuesday upheld the earlier ruling, fined him 52,920 euros ($53,000) and ordered him to pay 2,000 euros in compensation to each victim.

An association representing victims of abuse by priests when they were minors, ANIR, welcomed the ruling.

“We don’t often see these long sentences. Previously, the Supreme Court had even reduced some sentences. Priests rarely go to jail in Spain. I hope (the decision) opens a path for this to become usual,” ANIR founder Ana Cuevas told the Associated Press.

Sexual abuse of minors by members of church institutions is a deep-rooted problem in traditionally Catholic Spain. The country’s ombudsman on Tuesday presented a preliminary report by a working group of experts appointed by Parliament to investigate such cases.

The group said that in its first two months of operation it examined complaints by 201 people, most of them men.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

1 day ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

3 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

4 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

4 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

5 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

6 days ago

Spanish ex-priest sentenced to 30 years for abusing minors