Two Roman Catholic priests were each sentenced to more than 40 years in prison in Argentina for sexually abusing deaf children, a court in the western city of Mendoza ruled Monday, November 25th.
Argentine priest Horacio Corbacho was sentenced to 45 years in jail, while a 42-year sentence was imposed on Italian Nicola Corradi for the abuse of some 20 children at the Provolo Institute for deaf and hearing-impaired children between 2004 and 2016.
The court said the sentences took into account the aggravating circumstances that the priests were responsible for the children’s wellbeing, as well as the fact that the victims were minors. The institution’s gardener, Armando Gomez, was also jailed for 18 years for sexual abuse.
Outside the court a group of young people waited for the ruling with banners supporting the victims. Corbacho, 59, and 83-year-old Corradi had been held in preventive detention since their arrest three years ago on charges of child sex abuse at the school.
Apart from the gardener, several other staff at the school were taken into custody after the allegations of abuse first came to light in 2016, and the institute, 1,000 kilometers west of Buenos Aires, was shut down.
They included a 42-year-old Japanese nun, Kosaka Kumiko, who was arrested later after surrendering to authorities. She was charged with complicity with the two priests. The trial began on August 5 and heard evidence from 13 victims from the institute during in camera hearings.