A Catholic priest, suspected of having sexual contact with minors, was placed under witness status, Saturday, March 9 in Papeete. This is a first in Polynesia, said a source near the AFP investigation. The victims, two young adults, teenagers at the time of the events, blame him touching. The Prosecutor had demanded a charge after two days in custody of the police.
This is the first time in Polynesia that a priest is worried about justice for these reasons. Reported by the alleged victims, it is the CIRCAS (Interdiocesan Commission of Recourse in case of sexual abuse) that has informed the prosecutor.
The 40-year-old denies the facts of which he is accused. Before he was taken into custody, he had mentioned the investigation with parishioners, and had confirmed his innocence.
No "hasty judgments"
In the church of St. Theresia of Papeete, where he practiced, many believers don't want to believe it. "For many of us he is a father, a friend, a brother, I have often been alone with him and he has never had inappropriate behavior," said Raimana Speth, a young man who has known him for five years. year.
This affair arouses strong emotion in a very Christian Polynesia. On Friday, during the priest's custody, the Archbishop of Papeete asked by a communiqué his "believers of do not give hasty judgments, rushed and passionate. "But Monsignor Jean-Pierre Cottanceau the "zero tolerance" advocated by the Vatican for perpetrators of sexual abuse.