Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
A Mexican priest has been found guilty of raping an eight-year-old altar girl over a three year period.
The shocking incident was reported at a church in the city of Juarez in the north-central Mexican state of Chihuahua.
According to the newspaper Excelsior, the priest, who presided over the parish of Santa Maria de la Montana, Aristeo Baca, has been found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting an altar girl from the age of eight for three years.
During the trial, at least 20 witnesses gave testimonies and the prosecution presented expert opinions and documentary evidence to support their case that the defendant sexually assaulted the victim on at least three occasions between 2015 and 2018.
According to the newspaper El Financiero, the court heard how the priest “broke the relationship of trust and took advantage of the access he had to the victim, who worked as an altar girl”.
The events were reported in 2019 when the family noticed how the little girl rejected the priest and asked her what happened, which is when she finally told them about the abuse, according to reports.
During the hearing, prosecutors said that, according to statements by the victim, now 11 years old, the priest sexually abused her every Sunday before mass.
Baca denied the charges, saying: “I once again say in front of this court that I am innocent and have not done any of the things I am accused of and that I am consciously in their hands.”
Baca was found guilty on all charges and the judges presiding over the case, Carlos Rodriguez, Florina Coronado and Arnulfo Arellanes, granted him temporary house arrest until sentencing on March 1st.
The percussion announced that it will request the maximum penalty of 80 years in prison for the crimes.
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