Dominican prosecutors seek extradition of priest

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Associated Press

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 11:33 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Dominican prosecutors said Thursday that they sent a dossier to the attorney general seeking the extradition of a Polish priest who has been accused of child sexual abuse in this largely Roman Catholic country.

At a news conference, Santiago Prosecutor Luisa Liranzo told reporters that an indictment alleges that seven Dominican children were abused by the Rev. Wojciech Gil, who led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight years.

Gil was in Poland on vacation when the allegations surfaced earlier this year and has not returned to the Dominican Republic. The 36-year-old priest has denied sexually abusing children in phone calls to Dominican reporters and suggested drug gangsters in the Caribbean country are taking revenge on him for his educational work.

In recent weeks, Dominican Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito requested the collaboration of Interpol and other international organizations in locating Gil so he could eventually be tried in the Dominican Republic.

Last month, Polish police said they located Gil living in a community near the southern city of Krakow after he was sought by Interpol. He was not detained because Interpol only asked to locate him.

In order to arrest him, Polish police need an official request from Dominican investigators. It was not immediately clear Thursday if that request has been made.

The father of one of the alleged victims has charged that his son was molested by the clergyman for about three years. A complaint against Gil also alleges he promised other children that he would take them to the beach and to Europe if they dressed in thong underwear and appeared in videos and photos.

Dominican authorities are also investigating the former Vatican ambassador to the Caribbean country, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, over allegations of sexual abuse of teenage boys. He too is Polish.

Wesolowski's whereabouts are unknown since the Vatican removed him as apostolic nuncio Aug. 21 after the allegations against him came to light.

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