April 29, 2005

Popular Costa Rican priest jailed for sex abuse


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - A Costa Rican Catholic priest, who attracted hordes of followers as the host of a popular televised prayer session, was jailed for 30 years on Thursday for sexually abusing minors.

In a case that triggered hysteria and anger among some of his fans, Enrique Delgado was found guilty of abusing three teenagers at his home on various occasions in 2002 and ordered to pay them the equivalent of $17,000 in compensation.

The 50-year-old priest, whose prayer show was one of the most-watched TV programs in the country, has always denied the charges and said his accusers were trying to persecute the Church.

The Catholic Church worldwide has been hit by an endless stream of child abuse allegations over the past few years.

Posted by kshaw at April 29, 2005 07:50 AM