Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Officials say French priest suspected of sexual abuse of minors, suspended from duties

Officials say French priest suspected of sexual abuse of minors, suspended from duties
By The Associated Press (CP) – 20 hours ago

ROUEN, France — Judicial officials say a priest in Rouen is facing preliminary charges for suspected sexual abuse of minors in the 1990s.

The officials say the priest, Jean-Marie Lemercier, was charged Friday with "sexual aggression on minors of 15." The preliminary charges open the way to an investigation.

Rouen Archbishop Jean-Charles Descubes expressed concern for the "victims who must move forward with their lives" in a statement issued Tuesday. But he also said his thoughts were with the priest, adding that it was up to the justice system to decide on the gravity of his actions, which must be "condemned."

Lemercier has been suspended from his pastoral tasks but remains free. Another priest in the Normandy region was handed similar charges April 1.

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