April 13, 2005

Sicilian priest to face trial on child abuse charges

The New Zealand Herald

12.04.05 5.20pm

PALERMO - One of Italy's most famous anti-Mafia priests will stand trial on charges of child molestation, a Sicilian magistrate ruled today.

Father Paolo Turturro, who ran a parish in one of Palermo's toughest neighbourhoods near the city's main Mafia prison and often led demonstrations of children against organised crime, is accused of sexually abusing two minors.

Turturro has always proclaimed his innocence.

"I am serene. I trust my soul to God but I have faith in justice," he said on leaving the courtroom, according to one of his lawyers.

The trial will start on May 19 in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, where Turturro lived until magistrates told him in 2003 that he had to leave the city while the charges were investigated.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2005 08:10 PM