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News > Chile

Chilean Priest Under House Arrest, Investigation for Sex Abuse

  • Priest Tito Rivera will be investigated by the Chilean justice system for having sexually abused a man in 2015.

    Priest Tito Rivera will be investigated by the Chilean justice system for having sexually abused a man in 2015. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 March 2019

Tito Rivera has had his priesthood suspended for 14 years for several cases of alleged sexual abuse against minors.

A Chilean Justice ordered an investigation Friday into alleged sexual abuse crimes by priest Tito Rivera in the Cathedral of Santiago in 2015.

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Over the next five months, the investigation is due to be carried out during which time the accused will be subject to nighttime house arrest from 10pm to 6am and will be prohibited from leaving the country, as determined by the 13th Santiago Warden's Court.

The resolution comes after the regional prosecutor of O'Higgins, Emiliano Arias, in charge of the investigations for sexual crimes committed within the Chilean Catholic Church, asked the Justice to formally impute Rivera.

The priest will be investigated for allegedly abusing a man, Daniel Rojas, in 2015, in a bedroom of the cathedral of Santiago, the heart of Chile's Catholic community. Rivera’s priesthood has been suspended for 14 years due to several complaints in the canonical justice regarding alleged sexual abuse acts committed against minors.

Daniel Rojas, 43, denounced that in 2015 he went to the Cathedral and met with Rivera to request monetary aid for his daughter who suffered a severe urinary tract infection.

According to Rojas, the priest offered him a glass of water that allegedly contained a drug and then sexually abused him in one of the dormitories in the religious compound. Rojas also said that after confessing to Archbishop Ezatti, the Archbishop gave him 30,000 pesos (approximately US$45) and advised him to pray for his rapist.

Pope Francis announced Friday that all Vatican staff and diplomats from the Holy See abroad could receive jail sentences and fines if they are found to be covering up sexual abuse of minors. So far, 219 are investigated by the National Prosecutor's Office of Chile. A total of 158 cases of sexual abuse against 241 people, 123 of which were infants at the time of the events.


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