Paedophilia in the Church: years in prison for a priest from Pennsylvania

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NEW YORK city | A catholic priest who had admitted to having sexually abused minors in Pennsylvania, was sentenced Friday to a sentence of up to two and a half years to 14 years in prison, the second cleric to be imprisoned after a damning report on the abuses of the clergy in this State.

The priest, David Poulson, 65, had pleaded guilty in October after he was accused of sexual assault and attempted assaults on two boys of 8 and 15 years in the diocese of Erie, in northwestern Pennsylvania.

David Poulson had sexually assaulted one of the boys “more than 20 times in parsonages,” said the federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania, and Josh Shapiro, quoted Friday in a press release. “It has forced the victim to confess, and to confess these abuses to Poulson” itself, he added.

The priest had also tried to attack on numerous occasions the boys in a cottage he owned in the countryside.

The case of the father Poulson was included in the report released in August by the attorney general of Pennsylvania, detailing the decades of sexual abuse in this State committed by more than 300 priests of over 1 000 children, and the efforts of the catholic hierarchy to hide them.

David Poulson himself had confessed in 2010 to the bishop of Pennsylvania of the time, Donald Trautman, be attracted by young boys. But the bishop, who retired in 2012, had, however, left to carry out his ministry, is merely the change of the parish, and the father Poulson has not been suspended for good in 2018, the prosecutor stressed Shapiro.

If most of the cases mentioned in the report fell under the statute of limitations, the two priests had been charged in the investigation: Mr Poulson and John Sweeney, sentenced him last month to between 11.5 months and 5 years in prison, for abusing a 10 year old child in the 1990s.

The report of Pennsylvania has shaken the american catholic church and sparked criminal investigations in several other States of the country.

In December, the attorney of Illinois has published a progress report indicating that about 700 priests of this State in the american Midwest had been accused, on several decades of assaults on minors.

These reports have pushed prosecutors and victims ‘ groups to boost efforts to remove the limitation periods that limit the prosecution of these crimes, so far without success.

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