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At least 200 kids abused in Regensburg choir

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The Regensburg Domspatzen boys choir singing at St. Peter's Cathedral. Photo: DPA.
12:54 CET+01:00
Fresh cases of abuse in Regensburg cathedral choir were revealed by investigators on Friday, who said at least 231 children have been abused by priests and teachers since the 1950s in a scandal that has rocked the Bavarian city.

Lawyer Ulrich Weber, who is leading the investigation in Regensburg, said on Friday that between 1953 and 1992, at least 231 children were beaten or sexually abused by priests and teachers of the diocese.

This number was much larger than previously thought - 72 cases of abuse had been reported by last April.

"The sexual abuse ranged from fondling to rape," said Weber. 

He added that the number of unreported cases would bring this figure higher, estimating that around one-third of the 2,100 students during that time period were subject to physical violence.
 
The Domspatzen - or "Cathedral sparrows" - boys choir of St. Peter's Cathedral has been plagued by scandal since reports of sexual abuse in Church communities across the country first emerged in 2010. 
 
At that time, a Berlin school announced that around 50 former students had reported they were sexually abused by priests. Afterward, lawyers for victims came forward with allegations of abuse at dozens of other Catholic institutions. 
 

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The two men first implicated in the abuse in Regensburg both died in 1984. One suspect, who was a religion teacher and the institution’s assistant leader, was removed from service in 1958. The other man was reportedly censured in 1971.

The diocese of Regensburg announced last April that it would cooperate with victims' organisation White Ring to investigate sexual and physical abuse at the Domspatzen choir.

The diocese has already started paying compensation to the tune of €2,500 each to victims.

SEE ALSO: Church 'still dealing with history of abuse': bishop

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