An Italian priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenager was told by a bishop to compensate his alleged victim with 20,000 euros, a Vatican court heard Thursday.
Father Gabriele Martinelli served as a papal altar boy in his teenage years while attending the St Pius X pre-seminary, which hosts boys interested in the priesthood.
He is accused of assaulting a younger boy enrolled at the same institution, which is located within the walls of the Vatican.
Oscar Cantoni, a bishop who looked into the allegations, told the court he had earlier proposed that Martinelli pay 20,000 euros ($24,500) to his victim, plus 5,000 euros to church officials to cover the cost of their investigation.
The decision to impose a financial penalty on Martinelli led to his criminal prosecution, explained Cantoni, who is bishop of the northern Italian city of Como.
Martinelli is now on trial alongside the former rector of the pre-seminary — the first time the Vatican has criminally prosecuted alleged…
Source: Guardian Newspaper