Bernard Preynat, 74, a defrocked priest convicted of assaulting at least 80 young boys between the ages of seven and 15 between 1971 and 1991, was on Monday handed a five-year jail term.
The trial of retired surgeon Joël Le Scouarnec, 69, on charges of sexually abusing four children has opened in south-west France, while he faces further prosecution after evidence was found by police, including his personal notebooks, suggesting he may have assaulted up to 349 children.
In an interview with The New York Times while in temporary exile in Italy, author Gabriel Matzneff, once celebrated by Parisian literary circles for his accounts of sex with underage girls and boys in France and abroad, and who is now under investigation in France for the sexual abuse and grooming of a minor, said he felt 'like the living dead, a dead man walking', turning on his former admirers for 'showing their cowardice', and accusing those who now denounce him of hypocracy.
The chief Paris prosecutor on Tuesday appealed for past victims of sexual abuse by author Gabriel Matzneff, 83, once revered by French lierati for his books about his sexual adventures with young minors, to come forward in the framework of an investigation into accustaions of sexual abuse and grooming of a minor made against him in a book published in January.
Gabriel Matznef, 83, an author once fêted among French lietrati who wrote of his enjoyment of grooming girl and boy minors for sex in France and abroad and who was publicly shamed after one of his past victims published an account of her experiences, has said 'if I did something that was not good I regret it', while also denouncing what he called 'a wave of neo-puritanism' following the removal from sale of his books.
A French public prosecutor on Friday said Joel Le Scouarnec, 68, a former surgeon due to stand trial in March for rape and assault of four children, is now suspected of sexually assaulting up to 349 children according to evidence found in his computer files and a diary, adding that 229 alleged victims have been questioned, of who 197 have filed complaints against Le Scouarnec.
Retired surgeon Joël Le Scouarnec, 66, who is awaiting trial for his alleged rape of two girls aged four and six, is now suspected of assaulting about 250 other children over a 30-year period after investigators discovered a hidden diary belonging to him which detailed attacks, including on his young patients.
French Roman Catholic cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, who has appealed his conviction this month for failing to report allegations of abuse of boy scouts committed by a priest, said on Tuesday that Pope Francis has refused his offer to resign his post.
The French Catholic Church's bishops' conference has agreed to soon begin paying financial compensation to victims of sex crimes by its clergy and who are unable to bring legal action against the perpetrators because of France's statute of limitations for the prosecution of such crimes.
François Ozon’s film Grace a Dieu (By the Grace of God), which tells the real-life story of how Catholic priest Bernard Preynat sexually abused young scouts the 1980s and early 1990s, opened in French cinema theatres on Wednesday after a Paris court ruled against a last-minute attempt by Preynat, who has yet to be tried, to halt its distribution, and also against a demand by a psychologist and member of the Lyon diocese that her name should be removed.
In an online petition they accuse the Church's leaders of 'ignoring or even concealing' the suffering of victims.
A senior priest in the diocese of Orléans south of Paris has just been placed under formal investigation over claims that he sexually abused a 15-year-old. This follows ongoing allegations against another priest in the same diocese. One victims group thinks the two scandals could be linked and prosecutors fear that many more instances of abuse may be involved and that dozens of young boys could have been victims. Meanwhile senior church figures have been accused of a cover-up or at least turning a blind eye. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports.
A Mediapart investigation carried out in partnership with Swedish television station SVT1 and British newspaper The Guardian reveals how a fundamentalist Catholic society covered up several cases of priests accused of sexual assaults. The Society of Saint Pius X also regularly sends offenders to a discreet 'gilded prison' tucked away in the French Alps. Mathieu Martiniere, Mathieu Périsse, Daphné Gastaldi and Ali Fegan report.
The French Catholic Church has for years protected priests and others under its authority who were accused of sexual assaults, and paedophile crimes in particular. This Mediapart investigation reveals how 25 bishops, five of who are still active, were directly involved in protecting 24 people, mostly priests, accused of sexual abuse. They were among 32 alleged perpetrators of sex crimes who are identified here as having been protected by the Church, and whose alleged victims total 339. The method employed often involved the transfer of the alleged perpetrators, a number of who have now been convicted for sex crimes, to distant geographical locations both in France and abroad. Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martinière and Mathieu Périsse report (graphics by Donatien Huet).