Antonio LZ has run out of time. This priest, to whom the Provincial Court has just imposed a second sentence for abusing children, will have to render accounts with justice –earthly, not divine– from prison. The court has done the math and considers that the prison sentences that it already has behind it for these two cases – and that add up to 16 years and nine months of confinement – could lead it to think about putting land in the middle and in the face of that “high risk on the run”, he prefers that he await the outcome of his legal battles in the shadows.
The sentence that has led him to say goodbye to freedom punishes the abuses that the priest committed against two minors. One of them, less than 13 years old, had his penis grabbed while he was playing a game on the video console at his house, according to the sentence. The other, a teenager, also touched the genitals on several occasions “to satisfy his sexual appetite.”
In San Pedro and Yecla
This priest, born in the Murcian district of Monteagudo, studied Vocational Training in Automobile Mechanics before leaving for a seminary in Medellín (Colombia), where he was ordained a priest and lived for fifteen years, according to ‘El Periódico de Yecla’. In 2006 he returned to the Region and entered the Diocese of Cartagena. From that year until 2013 he was vice-parish priest of the church of San Pedro and, later, he moved to the Altiplano. He worked as parish priest of the Yeclan church of San Juan Bautista and chaplain of the Virgen del Castillo hospital when the complaints of several minors were uncovered; the parishioners put their hands to their heads and he was pushed away.
The cases of abuse that the courts are resolving correspond to its first stage, in San Pedro. In May of last year, the Court already imposed a high-profile sentence on him – up to 7 years and nine months – for abusing a 13-year-old boy. A penalty to which this week has been added another, nine years old, for abuse of two other teenagers. A sanction that has ended up putting him behind bars and leading the Diocese of Cartagena to issue a statement in which he apologized to the victims and extended his hand to them.
However, the judicial front of this religious who will have to sit on the bench again next July does not end here. As LA VERDAD has learned, Antonio LZ faces five more years in prison – and another six of probation – accused of groping another child, in this case barely ten years old. The prosecutor, in his provisional conclusions brief, explains that taking advantage of the relationship of trust between the minor and his family, he allegedly went up to the minor’s room when he was sleeping and caressed his thighs, arms and abdomen, kissing him on the those same parts of your body.
These events were repeated in other rooms of the house, such as the pool or the living room. The defendant, according to the accusation in his brief, told this minor and others around him that they could masturbate in complete peace and that they could go around the house naked.
This is not the only case of alleged abuses within the church that the Murcian justice will have to unravel in the coming months. Also in July, the Court plans to sit on the bench a former monitor from the Murcia Minor Seminary accused of two alleged crimes of abuse against the same child when he was only 9 years old. “Let’s Play; Lie down, let’s go to sleep », the victim recalled that PMG had told her one weekend in June 2011 when she entered her room in the center.
“A Hand in the Underpants”
«I woke up at midnight to find P. hugging me, with his left leg over me. He had his left hand inside my underpants and was caressing my genitals and penis, “said the victim during the investigation of the case, which will be tried in just four months. The prosecutor, according to judicial sources, claims for him sentences that add up to ten years in prison for these two alleged crimes of abuse, which he has flatly denied.
An Investigating Court in Cartagena is also finalizing the investigation against the former priest of the church of San Antón for alleged sexual abuse of a teenager from his parish. For this case, according to judicial sources, there is still no date.
In recent months, moreover, all eyes have been directed against Joaquín Bascuñana, a former government delegate in the Region of Murcia. Up to five former students of the Marist seminary in La Marina de Elche (Alicante), where he taught, accuse him of alleged sexual abuse, according to ‘El País’. The complainants say that Bascuñana followed the same procedure with them: he approached them from behind when they were alone, he pulled up his cassock, tied it with a rope and rubbed against them, touching them. Bascuñana was a professor at this religious institution between 1970 and 1977. The alleged abuses date back to the former PP politician’s first three years as a seminary teacher, when the students were between 10 and 12 years old and the professor between 19 and 22. The former government delegate has forcefully denied it. “I swear by the most sacred that never in my life have I touched a child.”
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