A SPANISH priest from Motril has been arrested in Venezuela for allegedly abusing a 12-year-old girl.
The accused, 35-year-old Ivan Merino Pedial, worked as a professor at the Santo Tomas de Villanueva school in Granada until three years ago.
The priest confessed his crimes to the police in a video statement posted on Twitter. Merino admitted: “we grew fond and it was a game…and one thing led to another.” When the police then criticised him for his comments, the priest remained silent.
Later in the video, the suspect says he knows the victim’s family but explains they were not aware what was going on.
Merino studied in Burgos, Granada and Rome before working as a religious studies teacher in Granada.
Three years ago he was transferred to Venezuela, “to support pastoral work,” and is currently a vicar in the parish of Maracaibo, in the northwest state of Zulia.
Lisandro Cabello, the Secretary of State for Zulia, said there had been previous evidence of, “other violations and other victims,” and Merino had been sent to Venezuela as punishment.
His Augustine Order of Burgos strongly refute the claims, however, and said: “we have always repudiated, condemned and rejected any action that threatens the dignity of any human, and much more so if the victim is a child.”
En Venezuela detienen a sacerdote cuando abusaba de una niña
Un sacerdote español identificado como Iván Merino Pedial, de 35 años de edad, fue detenido en flagrancia, cuando abusaba sexualmente de una menor de 12 años que pertenecía a su feligresía. pic.twitter.com/on6JXOXHJd
— Petra Montt (@PetraMontt) November 29, 2018