Priest sexual abuse case: One victim offered six-figure sum to keep her mouth shut

Malta Independent

Rachel Attard

Thursday, 30 October 2014

One of the victims of alleged sexual abuse by Fr Charles Fenech was offered a six-figure sum to remain silent by a member of the Dominican Order, to which Fr Fenech belongs, The Malta Independent has learnt.

The victim turned down the offer immediately, and instead went with this information to the police.

The case regarding sexual abuse on vulnerable women by the Dominican priest has been before the Curia Response Team for at least eight years.

The case before the church tribunal is separate to the court case instituted by the police against Fr Fenech.

The Malta Independent yesterday revealed that Fr Fenech, known for his organisation of volleyball marathons in aid of Dar Tal-Providenza, is facing charges of sexual abuse against at least five women. He was summoned to court on three occasions but did not turn up, citing illness.

The Malta Independent made a conscious and responsible decision to publish the name of the priest in full respect towards ethical standards. People who are not priests who are accused of similar crimes have always been named unless the victims were relatives and could be identified. In this case, the alleged victims are not relatives of Fr Fenech. The Malta Independent will not protect members of the clergy if they are accused of such crimes.

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