Croatian Priest Sentenced for Sexual Molestation of Boys

December 4, 2007

Zagreb - A Croatian court has sentenced a Catholic priest to three years in prison for sexual molestation of five boys, local newspapers said Wednesday. Drago Ljubicic, 63, a priest on the Adriatic island of Rab, was convicted of molesting boys aged between five and 12. The trial was held behind closed doors and the boys testified via a video-link.

Though he was sentenced, Ljubicic was allowed to return to a monastery on another island, Krk, pending an appeal.

When the scandal involving Ljubicic erupted in June, his Rijeka diocese said that "adequate steps" would be taken against the priest in the event of his being found guilty.

"Such an act is the most shameful betrayal of our vows," Danijel Delonga of the Rijeka diocese said at the time.

Catholicism is the dominant religion in Croatia, ahead of the Orthodox Christian and Muslim faiths.


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