German priest admits to 280 counts of sexual abuse

A German Catholic priest has admitted 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys in the past decade, saying he did not think he was doing harm.

Named only as Andreas L, the priest told a court in Braunschweig that he had first abused the nine-year-old son of a widowed woman parishioner. After being banned by his diocese from making further contact with the boy, he abused two brothers, aged nine and 13…

The priest on trial in Braunschweig faces a minimum prison sentence of between six and six and a half years. He was arrested during the summer, after the mother of his earlier victim reported him to the authorities.

She acted after her son, now aged 17, revealed to her the abuse he had undergone for two years.

Sexual assaults were made on the three boys in various settings: at the priest’s house, on skiing holidays, in a parental home, on a trip to Disneyland Paris and at a church shortly before Mass.

The priest…said that while working in Braunschweig in 2004, he had begun a close relationship with the widow.

When Fr Andreas was moved to Salzgitter, her son often spent weekends with him, and the two would go off on short trips. He would give the boy presents such as a camera and a mobile phone. Abuse would often occur three times a weekend.

The priest said it had not been his intention to get close to the boy sexually, and that it had never occurred to him that he was doing harm…

The abuse of the two brothers…began under similar circumstances, the court heard…

It was never my impression that the children did not consent,” the priest was quoted as saying at the trial…

About 2,800 pornographic images were found on the priest’s computer, including several of his victims.

I have no idea how thoroughly the Roman Catholic Church is acting to prevent future crimes. It sounds as if they’re still focussed on cleaning up – or concealing – old crimes.

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