Quart de Poblet choir mas­ter ad­mits to child sex abuse

Costa Levante News - - NEWS - News Staff Re­porter

A FORMER choir chair­man has ad­mit­ted to sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a 12-year-old boy on at least two oc­ca­sions, and is fac­ing two years in jail.

The ac­cused, iden­ti­fied only by his ini­tials of R.C., had ac­com­pa­nied the group of 47 singers – aged be­tween 12 and 17 – from Quart de Poblet's Vire­lai choir on a trip to Aus­tria.

He slept in the same room as five of the boys on the Vi­enna trip in Au­gust 2016 and, when one of the youngest mem­bers awoke from a night­mare, got into bed with R.C. for com­fort.

The child, G.V.R., said the choir mas­ter, 55, be­gan grop­ing him and or­der­ing him to do the same.

Next, on the fol­low­ing night in the town of Wells, the choir chair shared a bed with G.V.R. and an­other boy.

G.V.R. woke up to find R.C. grop­ing him, and screamed at him to stop.

An­other six vic­tims came for­ward af­ter G.V.R.'s re­port­ing the mat­ter, al­though all ex­cept two of them are now time­barred and the boys are adults.

Al­though fac­ing 10 years in jail, G.V.R.'s fam­ily has agreed with the prose­cu­tion for R.C. to be given a two-year sen­tence for a sin­gle of­fence – mean­ing he will not have to serve it – two years of be­ing tagged elec­tron­i­cally and to pay the vic­tim €5,000.

A ban on work­ing with chil­dren for six months was awarded, but the court says this is a mere for­mal­ity since com­pul­sory back­ground checks on any­one in con­tact with mi­nors would in­stantly re­veal R.C.'s con­vic­tion, and he would be dis­qual­i­fied by de­fault.

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