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Dominican Republic expects severe sentence for alleged paedophile priest

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Dominican Republic expects severe sentence for alleged paedophile priest

The attorney general of the Dominican Republic has met with his Polish counterpart in Warsaw and is expecting a severe sentence for a Polish priest suspected of abusing children.

Father Wojciech G. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) is due to be tried at a district court in Wolomin, near Warsaw.

The priest stands accused of 10 offences, 8 of which relate to the sexual abuse of boys below the age of 15. Two acts were allegedly committed in 2000-2001 in Poland, the others at various times over the years 2009-2013, in the Dominican Republic.

''We expect a just, high sentence which will satisfy public opinion in the Dominican Republic,'' Attorney General Francisco Dominquez Brito said after meeting his Polish counterpart Andrzej Seremet.

The Dominican Republic is considering whether to send observers to attend the trial.

Seremet noted that the trial will be held behind closed, but that he reserved the right to allow for an observer to attend the proceedings.

Father Wojciech G. was arrested near Krakow in February 2014, and he has remained in police custody since then.

The clergyman has denied any wrongdoing since accusations first surfaced in 2013 in the Dominican Republic, where he had served as head of a parish in the highland town of Juncalito.

Parallel case in Vatican

Francisco Dominquez Brito will travel from Warsaw to the Vatican, where he will confer over a parallel child abuse case concerning a former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic.

Jozef Wesolowski, who was defrocked as archbishop this year, stands accused of abusing boys during his tenure as nuncio on the Caribbean island.

The Vatican is handling the case, and as with the investigation against Father Wojciech G., the Dominican Republic has forwarded files to the relevant authorities.

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