VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican tribunal absolved a former altar boy of charges that he molested a younger boy in the Vatican’s youth seminary, ruling Wednesday in the first clergy sexual abuse trial to be heard by the pope’s criminal court.
The three-judge panel acquitted Rev. Gabriele Martinelli of some charges and ruled others couldn’t be punished. The former rector of the seminary, the Rev. Enrico Radice, was similarly absolved.
The case concerned the closed world of the St. Pius X youth seminary, a palazzo inside the Vatican walls just across the street from where Pope Francis lives. The seminary serves as a residence for boys aged 12 to 18, who serve as altar boys at papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica.
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