Indian priest to face trial for paedophilia in Italy
An Indian priest who confessed to sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in Italy will face trial in a "couple of months" and could face up to 14 years in prison, his defence lawyer has said.india Updated: Apr 20, 2010 11:18 IST
An Indian priest who confessed to sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in Italy will face trial in a "couple of months" and could face up to 14 years in prison, his defence lawyer has said.
"The trial will happen and it will happen soon," Giovanni Gebbia said on Monday.
The 40-year-old priest, named only as David, is from Madurai in Tamil Nadu. He was released from prison last week but remains under house arrest in Teramo town, 175 km from Rome.
Gebbia said the priest spent the weekend praying at a local convent where he is under house arrest, adding that his spirits had improved.
"He is a little better now that the risks of being in prison have been removed," Gebbia said. "He spent the weekend praying, in meditation, in total silence."
The priest admitted to visiting the young girl at her home while her parents were out on Dec 19 last year. He offered her a Santa Claus doll and placed her hand on his genital area.
The priest, who was ordained in 1987, was arrested a week ago after he returned from India where he was visiting his ailing mother.
Gebbia said his client faces up to 14 years in prison if he is convicted of sexual violence against a minor.
"The sentence can total between seven and 14 years," he said.