SPAIN’S Supreme Court has confirmed a 30-year prison sentence on a former priest for abusing seven minors at a Catholic boarding school.
The court discovered that he abused several kids between 2013 and 2016 at a school in Ciudad Real – the victims were around 13 years old.
The court heard that the priest – who worked as a teacher – would indecently grope his victims in during swimming lessons and forced several boys to strip naked in front of him.
In 2016, an ecclesiastical court received complaints about his conduct. It stripped the man of his priestly status and referred him to civil justice.
In 2020, he was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 years of prison.
The former priest appealed to the Supreme Court, which on Tuesday upheld the earlier ruling, fined him €52,920 and ordered him to pay €2,000 in compensation to each victim.
An association representing victims of child abuse by priests welcomed the ruling, telling AP: “We don’t often see these long sentences. Previously, the Supreme Court had even reduced some sentences. Priests rarely go to jail in Spain. I hope (the decision) opens a path for this to become usual.”
Sexual abuse of minors by members of the church in Spain is a recurrent problem in the Catholic church and especially in schools with hundreds of people claiming to be victims.