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Ambassador convicted in Vatican sexual abuse case

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Posted at 1:19 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 13:19:05-05

A former Vatican ambassador to France has been convicted of sexual assault in a Paris courtroom.

76-year-old Luigi Ventura was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence for sexually assaulting five men between 2018 and 2019.

Ventura has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

The victims’ lawyer says the verdict should encourage other sexual assault victims to speak out.

“It means that victims have to be brave, have to leave the silence, and to talk,” Edmond-Claude Frety said. “And the criminal justice system will give an answer to what they suffered.”

According to Agence France-Presse, Ventura was also ordered to pay 13,000 euros (about $15,900 US) for moral damage to four victims and 9,000 euros (about $11,000 US) in legal costs.

“I am relieved, it is a two-year fight that is coming to an end,” said Mathieu de La Souchère, the first complainant. “A lot of people told us not to (do it) because it was David against Goliath, but we did well.”

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