NEWS

Priest arrested for rape of underage girl

Priest arrested for rape of underage girl

A 39-year-old priest accused of a slew of offenses, including raping an underage girl, was on Friday given one more day to prepare his defense.

The accused, who was arrested on Thursday afternoon, will appear before an investigative magistrate on Tuesday. The charges include rape, grooming a minor and possessing pornographic material which allegedly relates to photos of the girl that the accused asked her to send him.

According to the case file, the sexual abuse took place over a period of two years, starting in 2019, when the victim was 14-15 years old and lasted until May 2020. The incidents happened while she attended Sunday school in Patissia, central Athens. The girl is said to have confessed to her mother last November what had happened with the clergyman.

Police officials said the priest, father of three, has likely abused more children from the Sunday school and that the investigation is ongoing.

State-run broadcaster ERT said the suspect has been suspended from his duties following a decision by Archbishop Ieronymos, while the Church of Greece is expected to initiate procedures to refer him to an ecclesiastical court.