Sexual abuse of the Pope’s altar boys, the Vatican court acquits the two accused priests: “Evidence of violence is missing”

Sexual abuse of the Pope’s altar boys, the Vatican court acquits the two accused priests: “Evidence of violence is missing”
Sexual abuse of the Pope’s altar boys, the Vatican court acquits the two accused priests: “Evidence of violence is missing”

The Vatican Tribunal, chaired by Giuseppe Pignatone, in the context of the trial on the sexual abuse of the Pope’s altar boys, he acquitted don Gabriele Martinelli, at the time of the facts underage and former student of the Vatican Preseminary of Saint Pius X, e don Enrico Radice, former rector of the institute. Totally rejected the requests of the promoter of justice of the Holy See, Roberto Zannotti. For some crimes they are acquitted, for others not punishable, for still others the limitation has intervened. The prosecutor had asked for six years of imprisonment for don Martinelli for acts of aggravated rape and aggravated acts of lust and four years for Don Radice for aiding and abetting. The latter offense had been configured as follows, explained Zannotti, since the Vatican criminal law does not provide for the crime of concurrence in sexual violence for which the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating. a similar procedure to that of the Holy See. The request for compensation of 500mila euro presented by the alleged victim who filed a civil action.

“The Tribunal – reads a press release from the same Vatican body – has established that they must be considered as ascertained sexual intercourse, of various nature and intensity, between the accused and the injured person, effectively lasting for the entire five-year period; conversely, there is no evidence to affirm that the victim was forced into such reports by the accused with the disputed violence or threat. Particularly, the impossibility of retaining the compulsion of the victim proven beyond any reasonable doubt it derives from some significant contradictions and illogicalities present in the statements made on several occasions by the victim, from what emerges from the telephone messages exchanged with Martinelli, and from the fact that many of the texts present in the same rooms in which, from time to time, sexual intercourse would have taken place repeatedly claimed to have never seen or heard anything ”. For this reason, Martinelli “was declared not punishable in relation to the disputed facts until August 9, 2008 because he was younger than 16 years old at the time”, as required by Vatican law. “Acquitted of the crimes against him for the period after August 2008 for insufficient evidence“. Furthermore, the Court “held that the facts relating to the period from 9 August 2008 to 19 March 2009 (date on which the alleged victim also turned 16), as mentioned certainly proved in their materiality, lacking only certainty regarding the coarctation of the victim, however, integrate the crime of bribery of minors which has however been declared extinguished by prescription, already accrued in 2014, that is many years before the filing of the complaint (18 April 2018) and therefore the start of the investigation “.

With the first instance sentence of the Vatican Tribunal, a trial that lasted a year and strongly supported by Pope francesco. As, in fact, the Holy See explained at the time of the indictments, “despite the fact that the facts reported date back to years in which the law in force at the time prevented the trial in the absence of a complaint from the injured person to be presented within one year of the contested facts , the postponement was possible by virtue of a special provision of the Holy Father of 29 July 2019, which removed the cause of inadmissibility “. But at the trial of the trial, the accusatory system collapsed.

“This trial was not supposed to be held – the lawyer explained in his speech Rita Claudia Baffioni, defender of Don Martinelli – because it took place on the basis of the Pope’s rescriptum so that one can only proceed on the hypothesis of the crime of abuse of minors of adults ”. Among other things, Don Martinelli and the one who the prosecutor believed to be the victim of the sexual abuse they are the same age, they have, in fact, only seven months and nine days of difference. Still according to the lawyer, in the trial no evidence emerged, in the years in which the alleged victim was a minor, of acts of violence and libido, therefore the main premise of the Pope’s rescriptum, namely the protection of the minor, has failed. The lawyer Agnese Camilli Dearest, defender of Don Radice, had asked for the absolution with full formula of his client because the fact does not exist. Even the lawyer Emanuela Bellardini, lawyer of the Opera Don Folci, a body of the diocese of Como to which the management of the Preseminary is entrusted, had asked for the acquittal with full formula for both defendants. In the courtroom, the defense lawyers expressed satisfaction with the sentence.

Twitter: @FrancescoGrana

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