Trial begins of clergyman accused of child abuse
PR dla Zagranicy
The trial of a Polish priest accused of sexually abusing children in Poland and the Dominican Republic began on Friday morning in Wołomin, near Warsaw.
Father Wojciech G. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) could serve 15 years in prison if found guilty at the district court.
The hearings will take place behind closed doors, with no access given to journalists.
In October 2014 the priest was charged with committing 10 crimes, 8 of which relate to the sexual abuse of boys below the age of 15.
Two acts were allegedly committed in 2000-2001 in Poland, the others at various times over the years 2009-2013, in the Dominican Republic.
The priest has denied all accusations against him since his arrest near Kraków in 2014. He was not given bail.
A spokesman for the district prosecutor's office in Warsaw has declined to confirm reports that the priest is planning to do a U-turn and plead guilty so as to secure a milder sentence.
Father Wojciech G. led a highland parish in Juncalito, the Dominican Republic, for close to a decade.
Prosecutors in Warsaw claimed in 2014 that there is “ample evidence” against the clergyman, including testimonies of over 100 witnesses, and over a dozen reports by experts. (nh)