Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A 19-year-old man has been arrested for torturing and killing a suspected paedophile priest by ramming a crucifix down his throat.
The suspect was allegedly abused by the priest, as was his father before him.
Alexandre V., whose full name has not been disclosed due to local privacy laws, has been arrested and remanded in custody on charges of aggravated murder, acts of torture, and for resisting arrest.
He is suspected of having murdered a 91-year-old priest by torturing him before asphyxiating him with a crucifix he allegedly rammed down the suspected paedophile’s throat.
The incident took place on 4th November in Agnetz, in the Oise department in northern France, when the suspect was first arrested while driving the victim’s car but he was taken to hospital on psychiatric grounds before being formally charged on 26th December, the prosecution in the town of Senlis has announced.
Catholic priest Roger Matassoli was found dead with a crucifix rammed down his throat and signs of torture on his corpse after being accused of sexually abusing at least four boys over four decades (1960-2000) amid allegations he may have had dozens of victims.
The suspect was employed by the victim as a housekeeper. The suspect’s father – named as Stephane by local media – was allegedly abused by the priest as a child as was the suspect.
Local media report that Stephane said that his own father – Alexandre’s grandfather – had killed himself upon learning of the abuse. Stephane also reportedly said that the alleged abuse by the priest had led to Alexandre trying to kill himself too.
Stephane is quoted in local media as saying: “This man has shattered a whole family.”
Alexandre has reportedly exercised his right to remain silent. Police are pursuing their investigation based on the hypothesis that this was an act of revenge, according to local media.
The suspect has indicated to investigators having no recollection of the events he is suspected of having committed.
After the priest’s murder, Beauvais bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin was quoted in local media as saying that Roger Matassoli had been removed from his duties in 2009 after abuse allegations emerged. However, conflicting local media reports also state that 2009 was the year that the priest retired due to old age.
It also later emerged that bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin allegedly kept Matassoli on the payroll until 2018, when he took Alexandre and Stephane’s testimony into consideration, as well as the testimony of at least two other alleged victims, still according to local media.
Reports allege that the priest had been allowed to carry on working due to “ecclesiastical errors” and due to a succession of bishops putting off dealing with the issue.
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