Gabriele Martinellian Italian priest, was sentenced on Tuesday to two and a half years in prison by the Court of Appeal in the Vatican. This sentence is due to the fact that he had sexual relations in 2008 and 2009 with a teenager one year younger than him.
Laura Sgrothe victim’s lawyer, celebrated the conviction: “It is an important day for my client because after many years of suffering, the violence he suffered has truly been recognized. We hope that this decision can, in one way or another, lead to a even deeper reflection on sexual abuse in the Church”.
The events began in 2007, in the pre-seminary of Saint Pius X, in the Vatican, when Martinelli and the victim were teenagers and were 14 and 13 years old. The abuse continued until five years later, in 2012, when the priest was already 19 years old.
Acquittal and appeal
In October 2021, the Vatican Criminal Court absolved the priest of charges of raping the minor, when they lived in the Saint Pius violence or threats.
But in a second instance, the Vatican City Court of Appeal reclassified the facts as ”corruption of minors”. Due to this, Martinelli, who was ordained a priest in 2017, suffered a sentence of two and a half years in prison, added to a fine of 1,000 euros.
This conviction dates back to the dates between August 9, 2008 and March 19, 2009where Martinelli had already reached the sexual age of majority, while the victim had not, which is why the events prior to 2008 were not considered punishable.
The Vatican cardinal who was convicted of fraud
Angelio Becciu, a high-ranking Italian cardinal, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for fraud, at the request of the Vatican Criminal Court. The case of the 75-year-old official was related to financial operations of the Holy See.
He is the highest-ranking official of the Catholic Church to appear before this court, which administers civil justice in the City-state, along with nine other people. Becciu, former advisor and close to Pope FrancisIn addition, you must pay a fine of 8,000 euros ($8,700). He was also convicted of two other schemes.
On the one hand, he was sentenced for having given him 570,000 euros to Cecilia Marogna, presented as a security advisor, “with the argument, not corresponding to the truth” that they were going to be used to free a nun kidnapped in Mali.
On the other hand, the court also sentenced him for transfer of 125,000 euros to the Cáritas de Ozieri organization, arguing that although the final destination of the money was lawful, “the disbursement of the funds by the Secretary of State constituted, in this case, an illicit use of the same, constituting the crime of embezzlement.” “.
Becciu has always denied the charges against him and after the sentencing his lawyer reaffirmed his innocence and said the cardinal would appeal the verdict.