Spain’s Supreme Court has upheld a 30-year prison sentence for a former priest who sexually assaulted seven boys at a boarding school.
The court found that the violation took place in a religious school in the city of Ciudad Real between 2013 and 2016.
All victims were 13 years old at the time. During swimming lessons, the defendant pulled some of the boys into the water by holding their genitals, the court said, and forcing the others to stand naked in front of him as a “test of confidence.”
In 2016, an ecclesiastical court dismissed the pastor after receiving complaints about his behavior and referred him to civil courts.
He was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 30 years in prison by a lower court in 2020.
The former pastor appealed to the Supreme Court, but the ruling was upheld and he also ordered a fine of €52,920 plus €2,000 in compensation for each victim.
ANIR, an association representing victims of child abuse by priests, welcomed the ruling.
We don’t see these long sentences very often. Previously, the Supreme Court had even commuted some of the sentences. Priests rarely go to prisons in Spain. hopefull [the decision] This opens the way for this to become the norm, ANIR founder Ana Cuevas told The Associated Press.
The Spanish Committee is Currently investigating over 200 complaints of sexual assault against members of the institutions of the Catholic Church.