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Hautes-Pyrénées: a former abbot indicted for rape of a minor

2023-07-12T20:07:51.263Z

Highlights: Former abbot, Jean-Claude Mercier, is suspected of having raped from 1997 a minor, then aged 17, until 2000, when the latter had become a young adult. Bérengère Prud'homme had indicated to the local antenna of Radio France that there were seven complaints in all against him. Two other potential victims have been identified, the magistrate told France Bleu, but have not yet been heard. Several people accuse Mercier of having abused young boys from the Traveller community for decades.


A religious, installed without the agreement of the Catholic Church in a former abbey of the Hautes-Pyrénées, was placed Wednesday in detention


A religious of the Hautes-Pyrénées, excluded from the Catholic Church in December 2022, was indicted Wednesday for rape of a minor, announced the prosecutor of Tarbes, Bérengère Prud'homme then placed in provisional detention. This former abbot, Jean-Claude Mercier, is suspected of having raped from 1997 a minor, then aged 17, until 2000, when the latter had become a young adult. He was placed in custody Monday in Tarbes Monday, according to France Bleu.

Seven complaints and prescribed facts

Bérengère Prud'homme had indicated to the local antenna of Radio France that there were seven complaints in all against him These are men who say they were raped and sexually assaulted by him. At the time, they were young, they were minors. The prosecutor's office adds that for most of the facts, these are "very old facts and therefore prescribed".

Thus in November 2021, an investigation had been opened for sexual abuse for prescribed facts, a person living in the Gers said to have been his victim in the 70s. Two other potential victims have been identified, the magistrate told France Bleu, but have not yet been heard.

Rape of minors and sexual assault in the Church: former Father Mercier de Tarasteix indicted and imprisoned https://t.co/74cNBfwuDs via @ladepechedumidi

— Latoui (@hl95) July 12, 2023

According to La Dépêche, "several people accuse Father Mercier of having abused young boys from the Traveller community for decades, taking advantage of their vulnerability, their precariousness, and the taboo surrounding homosexual relations within this community."

He reportedly left the Church on his own in March 2021.

The religious, installed without the agreement of the Catholic Church in Tarasteix, in a former abbey of the Hautes-Pyrénées, was placed Wednesday in provisional detention. In April 2021, the CIASE, the commission responsible for investigating paedocriminality in the Church of France, had made a report to the Tarbes prosecutor's office about this man and had warned the bishop, its president Jean-Marc Sauvé told AFP in December 2022.

Excluded from any clerical function by Pope Francis, Jean-Claude Mercier had claimed, also in December 2022, to have left the Church of his own accord in March 2021, saying he was "victim of slander" and "online harassment".

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2023-07-12

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