French priest detained for drugging and raping a minor
A French priest has been charged with aggravated rape in Paris after allegedly meeting the victim, a teenager, on the gay dating app Grindr. Prosecutors and legal authorities have reported that a priest from northwest France has been accused of drugging and raping a 15-year-old minor.
The priest from a small parish close to Rennes was charged with aggravated rape and drugging the youngster after the two connected on Grindr and met in Paris last week. According to RTL radio, the 50-year-old pastor gave the young person several drugs in a hotel room, including an ecstasy-derived substance called MDMA and a substance that resembled GHB, a known drug frequently used in dating rape. Later, the child became ill and informed his friends.
The charge is the most recent in a string of sexual assault allegations that have seriously damaged the church’s reputation in France.
After an investigation last year revealed the shocking scale of sexual abuse by priests in recent decades, the confessions of a cardinal earlier this week shocked French Catholics once more.
A court investigation was started after one of the most prominent Catholic officials in France, Jean-Pierre Ricard, admitted to “reprehensible” behaviour with a 14-year-old girl in the 1980s. Additionally, ten other active and retired bishops were accused of sexual misconduct, according to church officials.
The priest from Rennes claimed that he routinely visited the capital to meet men for drug-fueled hotel encounters. He refuted the rape allegation by claiming that the minor had indicated on his Grindr profile that he was older than 18.
In a statement, Pierre d’Ornellas, the archbishop of Rennes, stated, “I can imagine how men and women will be upset by this case.” He also added that he had informed the Vatican about the arrest and charges.
An inquiry conducted by the church that came to its conclusions in 2021 found that over the previous seven decades, clergy had sexually abused 216,000 minors.