In her closing arguments, legal professional Rita Claudia Baffioni stated the seven-month age distinction between alleged sufferer and aggressor, who had been 13 and 14 at the beginning of the alleged abuse, made the costs of an abuse of authority in opposition to the Rev Gabriele Martinelli not credible.
The trial has put the highlight on the St Pius X seminary, positioned contained in the Vatican gardens, which homes boys aged 12-to-18 who function altar boys at papal Plenty in St Peter’s Basilica. The scandal erupted in 2017 when former altar boys went public with allegations of misconduct in opposition to Martinelli and a cover-up by the seminary superiors, a Vatican cardinal and the archdiocese of Como, which is answerable for the seminary.
Pope Francis waived the statute of limitations to let the trial go forward, and not too long ago ordered the seminary to maneuver out of Vatican Metropolis whereas letting its college students proceed to serve at St Peter’s.
The tribunal president, Giuseppe Pignatone, stated a verdict in opposition to Martinelli and the previous rector of the seminary, Don Enrico Radice, can be returned October 6.
Martinelli is accused of abusing his authority as a extra senior seminarian to pressure a youthful seminarian, recognized as LG, into “carnal acts” of sodomy and masturbation, utilizing violence and threats, from 2007 to 2012. Radice is accused of protecting up the crimes after LG complained.
Prosecutors have requested for a conviction and six-year jail sentence for Martinelli, and a four-year sentence for Radice, whose lawyer on Thursday requested the court docket to absolve her shopper, saying there was no proof that Radice knew of any abuse.
In her closing arguments, Baffioni famous that Francis’ decree eradicating the statute of limitations was primarily based on claims of abuse by an grownup on a minor. However Baffioni stated there was no proof of abuse whereas Martinelli was an grownup and LG was a minor.
“This trial ought to have by no means taken place,” she stated.
She stated the sufferer’s testimony that he suffered abuse for years wasn’t credible, nor his argument that he did not object as a result of Martinelli promised to let him serve at papal Plenty. She famous that just one former seminarian testified that he witnessed Martinelli’s conduct, however with out offering any proof.
“We’re speaking concerning the first 10 years of the 2000s, with children who’ve cellphones, make movies, who aren’t so fragile that with a purpose to serve a Mass they settle for to be abused 3 times per week for six years,” she stated. “Objectively, it is tough to consider.”