Ex-Vatican official to face child abuse charges

By 10:02 Mon, 15 Jun 2015 Comments

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

The criminal case announced on Monday is the first in which such a high-ranking Vatican official has been ordered to stand trial for sexual abuse.

The indictment against Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who had previously been defrocked by a Vatican tribunal, came on the same day that two former US bishops announced their resignations after their archdiocese was charged with having failed to protect children from unspeakable harm from a paedophile priest.

Wesolowski, who could face up to 12 years in jail, last

year became the first person to be arrested inside the Vatican on paedophilia charges.

The Vatican said allegations of crimes committed in the Dominican Republic were based on an investigation by police there, but other charges were based on a Vatican investigation that found child pornography on Wesolowski’s computer after his arrest last September.

Wesolowski was recalled to Rome by the Vatican in 2013 when he was still a diplomat in Santo Domingo and he was relieved of his duties after Dominican media accused him of paying boys to perform sexual acts.

The former archbishop and ambassador to the Holy See – a direct representative of the pope – later lost his diplomatic immunity.

He will face trial on July 11.

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