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Priest jailed for seven years over sex abuse

The Local · 25 Nov 2010, 17:08

Published: 25 Nov 2010 17:08 GMT+01:00

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The 50-year-old from a Catholic order known as the Premonstratensians admitted abusing six altar boys between 1992 and 2003, usually by handling their penises on the pretence of a medical examination.

Investigators also found child pornography pictures on the man’s computer. He was a priest in the town of Fritzlar in Hesse and his main responsibility was the supervision of altar boys.

He had targeted the vulnerability and naivety of the young to serve his own sexual gratification, lead judge Jürgen Stanoschek said.

“You used your authority and position as a person of faith,” Stanoschek said.

The man faced 164 separate charges, of which he was convicted of 155.

“This will live with the victims for a long time. It won’t go away,” the state prosecutor said during the sentencing.

She acknowledged, however, that the priest had admitted his crimes and spared his victims the need to face court and provide harrowing testimony. His jail sentence would have been up to 10 years had he not confessed, Stanoschek stressed.

The priest was relieved of his duties after the initial complaints were made in May. The Premonstratensian order has since closed its Fritzlar priory.

The priest had filmed many of the assaults with a video camera. He asked for forgiveness “from all whose trust I have abused” and to whom he had caused suffering.

He repeatedly used the same ruse to assault the boys: handling their penises on the grounds of a medical or scientific examination.

“You frightened the children,” Stanoschek said.

Story continues below…

The defence lawyer said his client had become too closely involved with the children. But the serious crimes notwithstanding, he had done plenty of good in the community and had ended the string of crimes of his own volition.

“From 2003, he succeeded in keeping his distance,” his lawyer said.

DPA/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:25 November 25, 2010 by William Thirteen
note to self: never accept a genital examination from a Premonstratensian...
18:24 November 25, 2010 by michael4096
Handling it as a common crime as opposed to a religious-order 'internal' matter must be a step in the right direction.
20:46 November 25, 2010 by Ludwig von America
Sounds like the court handled the handler handily.
22:26 November 25, 2010 by AusHessen
This pervert will do just seven years? An insult to the victims.
05:27 November 26, 2010 by parografik
Must agree 100% with AusHessen. The thought that this thief of innocence will get out must do little to relieve these victims of any sense of dread.

Time to lose the key. This is a crime that has not found an effective form of rehabilitation as well, so who is to say this scourge won't repeat upon release. He shows every sign of a repeat offender.
08:14 November 26, 2010 by ReaderX
Really should lock up all of these monsters for life. Better yet save tax payers the money and put them to death. Truly an insult to the victims and their families.
11:57 November 26, 2010 by Mh0926
Very sad news.

He used the authority and position as a person of faith, I just can't believe such people could serve God for so long time.

I can't judge him bcause I am not God, but I feel very very sorry that he must suffer a lot from his mental disease.
12:06 November 26, 2010 by jflipsen@shaw.ca
There are other abuses going on in our church such as denial that one is able to live out his vocation . At 51 I presented myself to the Church and for political reasons I have been rejected to enter priesthood . For reason I believed strongly in the Social Doctrine of the Church . Very special today the social teaching of the Church needs to be preached more and more . We cannot put enough emphasis on it when we see more and more people out of work . And companies are making rapid growing profits . Some do rise as high as twenty five percent at the expense of taxpayers and the workers who did work for these companies , I am born in Obdam the Netherlands 24th of May 1928 . Still ver actitve in ministry such as senior ministry ,
16:37 November 26, 2010 by Johnny Cash
One down 50,000 to go
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