News2023.05.25 10:15

Vilnius priest accused of sexual relations with minor – media

updated, BNS 2023.05.25 10:15

The chancellor of the Vilnius Archdiocese has been convicted of the acquisition and possession of pornographic material. He was also accused of having sexual relations with a minor, but the investigation was later dropped, the Delfi news website reported. 

The 19-year-old claims that he had an intimate relationship with Kęstutis Palikša, a high-ranking priest and Chancellor of the Vilnius Archdiocese when he was only 15 years old. According to him, the priest paid him very large sums of money for their sexual relations over the years.

The situation came to light when Palikša contacted officials about the young man’s embezzlement of 7,000 euros. After his arrest, the latter revealed to the police that he had an intimate relationship with the clergyman.

Shortly afterwards, investigators searched Palikša’s home and found an iPad with 13 pornographic images of sexually abused children aged between 14 and 18. The priest was prosecuted for forcing a minor to have sexual relations with him and charged with acquiring and possessing pornographic material depicting minors.

The prosecutor’s office, however, dropped the allegations of forcing a minor to have sex with him after failing to prove that the young man was forced into an intimate relationship with the priest.

Palikša pleaded guilty to charges of the acquisition and possession of pornographic material, and the proceedings were concluded after the court issued a criminal order. The court decided to impose a fine of 4,000 euros on the priest.

The chancellor of the Vilnius Archdiocese told the Delfi news website that he considered the boy’s testimony as revenge for reporting the theft of 7,000 euros.

The Vilnius Archdiocese Curia said that it received the information about Palikša’s charges from the media today and is launching an investigation.

“Until now, the Curia has not had any information about this,” said the Curia representative Žvilė Peluritienė.

According to her, Palikša announced this morning that he was resigning from all his duties in the Church and that “many things in the publication are false and do not correspond to reality”.

“The archbishop has accepted the resignation pending an investigation by the Church. The results of the investigation will be published,” the Vilnius Archdiocese Curia said.

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