September 30, 2017
An ex-Catholic priest serving a 14-year sentence for sexual abuse of seven minors in Rome, and who had been given permission to receive treatment for a health condition in a nearby clinic, surreptitiously left last week and hailed a taxi, escaping detection. On Thursday, police caught up to him in Milan’s San Raffaele hospital and placed him in custody. Now, he’ll have to serve the remaining 11 years behind bars.
Rome – A former priest in Italy sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2013 for sexual abuse of seven minors was captured by police in Milan late Thursday, three days after escaping from a clinic in the hills on the outskirts of Rome where he had been taken for treatment.
According to police reports, Ruggero Conti, 64, had been serving his term under conditions of house arrest, and had been given permission to move to the clinic in the castelli, the hills surrounding Lake Albano outside Rome that also contain the papal summer residence of Castelgandolfo, to be treated for an undisclosed health condition.
While there, police say, Conti surreptitiously left the clinic and hailed a taxi, escaping detection. On Thursday, police caught up to him in Milan’s San Raffaele hospital and placed him in custody. Now, reports suggest, Conti will have to serve the remaining 11 years of his sentence behind bars.
Ruggero originally was arrested in 2008, while still serving as a priest, at a time when he was organizing travel arrangements for local youth planning to take part in the World Youth Day to be held in Sydney, Australia. He was charged with sexually abusing seven minors in his care between 1998 and 2008, with the abuse taking place either at an oratory where he served or summer camps he helped to run.
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