Court Battles

German priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing children

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A German court on Friday sentenced a Catholic priest to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing children.

The court in Cologne also ordered the 70-year-old priest, identified only as Hans U., to pay three co-plaintiffs in the case $56,000, The Associated Press reported, citing German outlet dpa.

The priest, who was taken into custody during the trial, was charged with 118 counts and was alleged to have abused several victims, including a girl as young as 9 years old, the AP noted.

The priest was accused of taking advantage of children when he had opportunities to be alone with them, according to the AP. The Cologne archdiocese was informed about the alleged abuse, but the priest still had opportunities to be alone with children. 

Archdiocese officials have also denied responsibility.

The news follows recent coverage that former Pope Benedict XVI, or Joseph Ratzinger, failed to take action despite knowing about sexual abuse cases under his leadership while he was the archbishop of Munich.

Last month, Pope Francis promised justice for victims abused by clergy members.

“The Church, with God’s help, is carrying out the commitment with firm determination to do justice to the victims of abuse by its members, applying with particular attention and rigor to the canonical legislation envisaged,” Francis said during a speech.

Tags Catholic Church Catholic priest Cologne Germany Pope Francis sex abuse
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