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"Sudden illness" of former Vatican official before trial for sexual abuse

Jozef Wesolowski was admitted yesterday after coming down with a “sudden illness”.

Jozef Wesolowski
Jozef Wesolowski
Image: The Associated Press

A FORMER VATICAN official accused of having sexually abused teenage boys has been hospitalised ahead of his trial for these charges.

Jozef Wesolowski is accused of committing the offences while serving in the Dominican Republic as the Vatican ambassador between 2008 and 2013 and are on the grounds that he caused psychological damage to his victims.

He is also accused of being in possession of a large amount of child pornography while in Rome between 2013 and 2014.

Yesterday ahead of his trial in the Vatican he was admitted to intensive care due to a “sudden illness”.

The 66-year-old is being represented by Antonello Blasi who, according to Associated Press, said that earlier in the week Wesolowski had been “willing and able” to face the charges against him.

He is currently being held at a hospital in Rome after initially being taken to the Vatican’s infirmary.

Wesolowski was defrocked in a church court in June of last year but was not held until last September. If convicted on the current set of charges, he could face a custodial sentence of 6 years to be served in a Vatican facility.

The Guardian is reporting that Wesolowski is accused of paying teenage boys for sexual acts while stationed in the Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

It is thought that the trial will serve as a test of Pope Francis’s efforts to root out sexual abuse in the church and bring appropriate measures in historical cases.

- Contains reporting by - © AFP, 2015

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