29 May, 2024 @ 17:26
1 min read

Spain’s Supreme Court sentences priest from Toledo to eight years in jail for abusing a minor and ‘carrying out exorcisms’

THE Spanish Supreme Court has sentenced a priest from Toledo to eight years in jail, after he was found guilty of abusing a minor and even ‘carrying out exorcisms’ on her. 

Jose Luis Galan has also been ordered to pay €100,000 in compensation to his victim, who suffered the abuse while at a school in Toledo province between 2011 and 2014. 

The accusations were uncovered by Spanish daily El Pais, which began an investigation back in 2018 into abuses in the Catholic Church and has been compiling databases of reported cases both in Spain and in Latin America.

The ruling comes a full seven years after the victim, who is now an adult, first reported the abuse after a series of suicide attempts and more than a hundred psychological reports that reflected the damage she had suffered, according to the newspaper. 

The priest was found not guilty by the Roman Rota, the highest appellate tribunal of the Catholic Church.

The abuse began when Galan won the confidence of the victim, during her parents’ divorce. What the young woman did not know, however, was that the priest had started a relationship with her mother. 

Galan then began to sexually abuse the youngster, telling her that ‘this is what God wants’, and also threatening her.

The priest, meanwhile, claimed in his defence during trial that the victim had been motivated by jealousy toward her mother. 

Galan was also found to have carried out three ‘exorcisms’ on the young girl in a bid to ‘cure’ the eating disorder that she was suffering during this period of her life. 

After she took her case to the courts, the victim wrote to Pope Francis, telling her story and attaching a copy of the lawsuit. At that point, the archbishopric of Toledo opened an internal investigation into the priest. 

He was, however, tried by the Roman Rota, the highest appellate tribunal of the Catholic Church, and found not guilty.

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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