VALPARAISO, Chile – A Chilean priest is being investigated for suspected sexual abuse of minors and for aiding prostitution.
Judicial sources said that Fr. Juan Henriquez Zapata, 64, a parish priest in the city of Limache, located at some 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Santiago, is suspected of having paid in 2008 the sum of 25,000 pesos (about $48), to practice oral sex on two minors aged 15 and 16.
According to accusations by local prosecutors at a hearing, the incidents occurred in April of that year at the priest’s home behind the church.
During the hearing, the priest, who had previously confessed his misdeeds to the police, made a retraction, saying that he admitted to committing the crime because he was pressured into it, and rejected his guilt in the criminal acts of which he is being charged.
The Limache court barred Henriquez Zapata from leaving Chile and ordered him to report to judicial authorities monthly for the next six months, the time set for the judicial investigation.
It also forbid the accused from approaching the victims in the same period of time.