Tuesday May 14, 201305:17 PM GMT
Chilean priest removed from service over sexual abuse
A Chilean priest has been defrocked by the Roman Catholic Church.
A Chilean priest has been defrocked by the Roman Catholic Church.
Tue May 14, 2013 5:15PM
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A Chilean priest has been permanently removed from public ministry over allegations of sexual abuse of two minors.

The country’s Roman Catholic Church announced on Tuesday that Priest Hector Valdes has been defrocked.

Valdes "is hereby removed for life from exercising priestly ministry and the religious life," said the church.

In an investigation conducted last year, Valdes was found "guilty of the crime of sexually abusing two minors, and abuse of his ministry."

According to the initial probe in 2008, the church ruled there was not enough evidence to investigate the accusations of having sexually abused a 17-year-old.

Valdes is one of about 20 priests, who have been accused of sexually abusing minors in the predominantly Roman Catholic country, Chile.

Of those accused, Chilean courts have found guilty at least five priests.

The Roman Catholic Church has been hit by numerous scandals across the globe in the past few years.

Several cases in Europe and the US have been revealed, involving the church allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests to protect pedophiles and its own reputation.

Reports discovered that more than 4,000 US priests have faced sexual abuse allegations since the 1950s, in cases involving more than 10,000 children.

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