Two Roman Catholic priests were each sentenced to more than 40 years in prison in Argentina for the sexual abuse, including rape, of deaf children, a court in the western city of Mendoza ruled on Monday.
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 trial, one of several involving the school that have yet to begin, has sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church in the homeland of Pope Francis.
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 living at the boarding school.
The victims were children and adolescents aged between four and 17.
The school’s gardener, Armando Gomez, was also jailed for 18 years for sexual abuse.
Neither of the three defendants made any response when their sentences were read out. Corradi, the eldest, had been brought into court on a wheelchair.