French Sex Assault: Luigi Ventura to stand trial on sex assault charges

Pope Francis’s former ambassador to France, Luigi Ventura, will stand trial for sex assault in Paris in November following complaints by four men, one of whom accused the cleric of inappropriate touching, lawyers said.

Ventura, an archbishop, was stripped of his diplomatic immunity by the Vatican in July 2019 after he was questioned by French police, later resigned in December when he reached the 75-year age limit for his post.

His trial will open on November 10, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

“He will be present,” Ventura’s lawyer Bertrand Ollivier told AFP. “He will attend the hearing to defend his honor and innocence.”

It’s been disclosed that there has been a former complaint filed in Ottawa by a man who made similar allegations about an incident in 2008, while Ventura was serving in Canada.

“Ventura served in Brazil, Bolivia and Britain before being appointed nuncio, or envoy, to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger, Chile and then Canada”

The Catholic Church has been battling a wave of allegations detailing decades of sexual assault and abuse by clerics, mostly involving minors.

Alleged sex assault complaints by adult men are rare.

Pope Francis has vowed to confront criminal offences in the Church.

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