Dominican prosecutor OKs Vatican sex abuse case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2014 11:11 AM
Dominican prosecutor OKs Vatican sex abuse case

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Dominican Republic's top prosecutor praised the Holy See's handling of the sexual abuse case against its former ambassador to the Caribbean country Tuesday and acknowledged that the Vatican was the right place to try him.

Prosecutor Francisco Dominguez Brito met Tuesday with his Vatican counterpart, Jean Pierre Milano, and the deputy secretary of state, Monsignor Angelo Becciu, to discuss the case against Jozef Wesolowski. Dominguez Brito said he was "confident" that the Vatican would sanction the Polish former archbishop.

The Holy See recalled Wesolowski last year after rumors surfaced that he allegedly paid shoeshine boys to masturbate. Wesolowski has been defrocked and placed under house arrest pending a decision on whether to indict.

Dominguez Brito expressed his "appreciation and satisfaction" with the Vatican's actions so far, but made clear that Dominican authorities had provided the Vatican with sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution.

He said he was confident that the case would create a precedent.

"There cannot be any impunity, and we are confident that this will be the case here," he said.

He acknowledged that the Vatican had the right to prosecute him under international law, given his diplomatic position.

The Vatican for its part said it found Dominguez Brito's visit useful to exchange information. Wesolowski has recently been questioned by Vatican prosecutors and will be questioned again, a statement said.

After his first court appearance in September, judges placed Wesolowski under house arrest. The Vatican said Tuesday that due to health concerns, Wesolowski now enjoys "a certain freedom of movement" within the Vatican City walls, but is still limited in his communications.

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Associated Press reporters Paolo Santalucia and Jorge Pina contributed.

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