Former Paris archbishop goal of sexual assault investigation 1 hour in the past
French police are investigating an allegation that the previous archbishop of Paris sexually assaulted a girl who’s below authorized safety as a susceptible individual, prosecutors stated Wednesday.
Michel Aupetit, who unexpectedly resigned in 2021 after admitting to an “ambiguous” relationship with a girl in 2012, denies any wrongdoing, his lawyer stated.
The police investigation of Aupetit was opened on the premise of data from the Paris archdiocese, the Paris prosecutors’ workplace stated, confirming French media experiences.
It was launched in late November 2022, on a preliminary potential cost of sexual assault on a susceptible individual, the prosecutors’ workplace stated. The alleged assault befell a number of years in the past, it added, offering no different particulars.
Aupetit’s lawyer, Jean Reinhart, stated the probe was triggered by a letter despatched to the Paris archdiocese. The letter was then forwarded to prosecutors, an computerized process for dealing with potential abuse circumstances that Aupetit himself put in place when he was archbishop, Reinhart stated. Prosecutors then launched the police probe.
Reinhart stated Aupetit has not seen the letter, hasn’t been instructed who wrote it or what particularly it comprises.
“My consumer is flabbergasted, doesn’t know what that is about,” the lawyer stated. “We’re fully at midnight.”
Aupetit turned Paris archbishop in 2018. Pope Francis rapidly accepted his resignation in December 2021.
The pontiff subsequently stated he accepted the resignation as a result of Aupetit couldn’t govern successfully after “gossip” about his relationship with a girl eliminated his “good title.”
Francis stated there had been “lapses” with Aupetit involving sexual sins. He stated they weren’t that severe and concerned “some caresses and massages.”
Roman Catholic monks take vows of chastity.
Aupetit’s resignation piled extra upheaval on the French Catholic Church that has been severely undermined by a protracted historical past of sexual abuses. A report in October 2021 estimated that some 3,000 French monks had dedicated sexual abuse over the previous 70 years.
In 2020, the pope accepted the resignation of French Roman Catholic Cardinal Philippe Barbarin in reference to the cover-up of sexual abuse of dozens of boys by a predatory priest.
Different investigations are additionally below method. Final November, the prosecutor’s workplace within the southern metropolis of Marseille opened a preliminary investigation for “aggravated sexual assault” towards Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, one in every of France’s highest-ranking prelates of the Catholic Church.
In a letter that was learn out throughout a convention of French bishops, Ricard stated that he had abused a 14-year-old woman 35 years in the past and was withdrawing from his non secular duties.