Priest seized by Polish authorities over alleged sexual abuse charges in Dominican Republic town
Feb 17, 2014 07:25 PM EST
Dominican Today published a report by TheNews.pl, which said that a Polish priest has been arrested on Monday in Poland for allegations of sexual abuse. Polish priest Wojciech Gil, or Padre Alberto to his parishioners Juncalito, a town in the Dominican Republic, reportedly abused several boys sexually. Przemyslaw Nowak, a spokesman for the Warsaw District Prosecutor's Office, confirmed the priest's arrest. The priest's full name was withheld under the privacy laws of Poland according to the report.
Since late September of last year, Padre Alberto was under investigation by authorities in connection to several sexual abuse allegations. In the Dominican Republic, Padre Alberto has been formally charged with molesting several local boys in Juncalito while keeping his post as head of the parish. Aside from the testimonies provided by his alleged victims and authorities, officials in the Carribean country confirmed that Padre Alberto had child pornography material on his computer. He has since then denied the accusations filed against him, TheNews.pl said in its report.
The Polish news site said that Padre Alberto's case was part of a broad investigation into Pope Francis envoy Jozef Wesolowski, who is also a Polish prelate and was charged with sexually abusing minors. After his secret was outed by the Holy See, the Vatican pledged to conduct a investigation regarding the allegations filed against Wesolowski. The Vatican has already relieved Wesolowski of his duties as an ambassador of the Church to the Dominican Republic due to the investigation.
Reuters said in an earlier report, Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado, a church official, talked to local reporters and said that Wesolowski could invoke immunity in the Dominican Republic as a nuncio has diplomatic status in the country. Dominican Attorney General Francisco Domínguez Brito also stated to domestic media that the investigation launched against Wesolowski will take into account national and international laws given his diplomatic status in the country.