Four teenagers in Venezuela have been sentenced for sexual abuse at a Catholic center

Four teenagers were sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison for sexual abuse at a Venezuelan seminary, the prosecutor’s office said Monday.

Two minors under the age of 17 received ten years in prison.For their responsibility in the sexual abuse committed against a 14-year-old boyat the Santo Tomás de Aquino Diocesan Seminary in the state of Táchira (west, bordering Colombia), while two others, aged 17 and 16, will serve eight-year sentences.your cooperationIn that crime, according to a press release from the Public Ministry.

This complaint was filed on June 3 by the Catholic Training Institute itself.

The four convicts and the victim were also students at the centre.

The victim’s mother presented the matter to the Madrasa authorities and said that her son “Victim of threats, physical attacks and sexual abuse by several high school students, including the “nephew of the vice-rector”“, according to the public ministry note.

,After receiving the complaint, considering the seriousness of the facts (…), the Madrasa management filed a complaint with the Public Ministry“, indicated in a statement from the Diocese of San Cristóbal, capital of Táchira at the time.

,We denounce this shameful episode (…). The seminary will continue to fulfill its mission to train its students in Christian and civic values.“, he insisted.

Since then all four teenagers were in custody.

The Venezuelan Catholic Church was the center of a sex abuse scandal in July 2022, following an investigation published by the American newspaper The Washington Post that condemned the reinstatement of convicted priests.

,We feel deeply disappointed and hurt by the situations of abuse,” Mario Moronta, first vice president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV), said in a press conference, in which he assured that the Church provided “collaboration for clarification.” fact,

The Washington Post published an investigation of 10 cases that “Involves allegations of child sexual abuse“by priests in Venezuela and found that, in half the cases, convictions occurred between 2001 and 2022”he was released early” one of two “he did not complyPrison and at least three priests were allowed to return to ministry. AFP

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