Tags: Latin America | argentina | priest | pedophile | prison

Argentine Pedophile Priest Begins 15-Year Prison Term

By Joel Himelfarb   |  

A Buenos Aires Court has ordered Father Julio Cesar Grassi to begin serving a 15-year sentence for sexually abusing a teenage boy, the BBC reported Tuesday.
 
Grassi, who claims prosecutors “lied” to make a case against him, was convicted in 2009 of abusing the boy at his "Happy Children" foundation.
 
"In my life, all I have done was to help the children in need," he said at the criminal court in the city of Moron, according to the BBC.
 
But Alejandro Varela, the prosecutor, said it was essential to take Grassi into custody, arguing that he was a flight risk. To allow him to stay out of prison “is almost like colluding with his crime,” Varela said.
 
Three Argentinian courts had previously affirmed Grassi’s 2009 conviction. A Buenos Aires court last week upheld his 15-year prison sentence.
 
Before being taken to jail, Grassi said, "I am in peace, I believe in God."
 
Juan Pablo Gallego, an attorney for the victim, said Grassi “is now starting to pay for his crimes for the first time,” the Buenos Aires Herald reported. He said Grassi had evaded punishment for more than a decade “but now he has become the victim of his own behavior.”

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A Buenos Aires Court has ordered Father Julio Cesar Grassi to begin serving a 15-year sentence for sexually abusing a teenage boy, the BBC reported Tuesday.
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