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Delayed Legion of Christ extortion trial goes forward in Italy

ROME (AP) – A take hold of in Milan has ruled that trial can depart forward in a case by which priests and attorneys of the Legion of Christ Catholic spiritual mutter are accused of providing to pay the family of a sexual abuse sufferer to lie to prosecutors.

At some level of a preliminary listening to Tuesday, which used to be delayed by as regards to a year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Capture Patrizia Nobile confirmed the costs of attempted extortion and obstruction of justice and scrape a Would possibly perchance perchance perchance honest 13 trial date for the 5 suspects, talked about Daniela Cultrera, the attorney for the sufferer’s family.

The investigation is an offshoot of a case by which Italy’s perfect court docket in July upheld the conviction and 6 1/2-year penal advanced sentence for a defrocked Legion priest, Vladimir Resendiz, for sexually abusing boys at the Legion’s childhood seminary in northern Italy.

That case used to be sparked in 2013 when indubitably one of Resendiz’s victims confided in his therapist referring to the abuse he suffered while he used to be a center schooler at the seminary. As a mandated reporter, the therapist knowledgeable law enforcement authorities, who opened the probe.

On the time, the Legion used to be emerging from years of Vatican-mandated reform following revelations that the founder of the Mexico-basically based fully mutter used to be a spiritual fraud who sexually abused his seminarians and built a secretive, cult-fancy mutter to cover his crimes. In response to Cultrera, a brand fresh intercourse abuse scandal going public in Italy used to be the last element the Legion wanted because it hoped to in finding its independence from Vatican oversight.

Prosecutors assert the Legion hierarchy in Italy and their attorneys equipped the family of the sufferer 15,000 euros in October 2013 in change for a settlement agreement by which the son ruled out having been abused by Resendiz and regardless didn’t be conscious. It talked about if the relatives were ever known as to testify, they were to get the a similar declarations, denying the abuse that they’d already reported to prosecutors.

The sufferer’s mother, Yolanda Martinez, knowledgeable The Associated Press last year the family used to be aghast at the Legion‘s habits and refused to signal. About a months later, the Legion proposed a revised offer acknowledging the abuse took place however requiring the family to pay support double the 15,000 euros if somebody violated the confidentiality agreement.

For prosecutors, that amounts to attempted extortion and obstruction of justice. The family is looking out for unspecified damages as a civil event in the case.

The Legion declined to comment sooner than the trial. Spokesman the Rev. Aaron Smith noted Resendiz is now not any longer a priest or member of the mutter, even though he talked about the Legion used to be “willing to cooperate with the authorities as wanted.”

Resendiz used to be last believed to be living in his native Mexico, alternatively it’s now not today obvious when or if extradition proceedings would start following the excessive court docket ruling upholding his conviction and sentence.

The Resendiz case and the follow-on trial are correct seemingly the most fresh intercourse abuse and cloak-up scandals which comprise rocked the Legion a decade after the Holy Detect imposed a reform process to purify it. The scandals comprise known as into question the reform itself, given even the papal delegate to blame used to be piece of the cloak-ups. The Legion has vowed to realize greater.

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