Catholic Priest Roger Matassoli was found dead in Agnetz, in the Oise department of northern France, with a crucifix down his throat and signs of torture on his body
A 19-year-old man has been arrested for torturing and killing a suspected paedophile priest by ramming a crucifix down his throat.
The suspect was allegedly abused by Catholic Priest Roger Matassoli, as was his father before him. Alexandre V., whose full name has not been disclosed due to local privacy laws, has been arrested and remanded in custody on charges of aggravated murder, acts of torture and for resisting arrest.
He is suspected of having murdered 91-year-old by torturing him and then asphyxiating him with a crucifix he allegedly rammed down the suspected paedophile’s throat. The incident took place on 4 November in Agnetz, in the Oise department of northern France.
The suspect was first arrested while driving the victim’s car only to be taken to hospital on psychiatric grounds. He was formally charged on 26 December, prosecutors in the town of Senlis announced.
Matassoli was found dead with a crucifix rammed down his throat and signs of torture on his corpse.
He is accused of sexually abusing at least four boys from 1960 to 2000 amid allegations he may have had dozens of victims. The suspect was employed by the victim as a housekeeper. His father- was allegedly abused by the priest as a child, as was the suspect.
Alexandre has reportedly exercised his right to remain silent.
Police are investigating based on the hypothesis that this was an act of revenge, according to local media. The suspect told investigators that he has no recollection of the events he is accused of. After the priest’s murder, Beauvais bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonninsaid that Matassoli had been removed from his duties in 2009 after abuse allegations emerged.
Bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin allegedly kept Matassoli on the payroll until 2018, when he took Alexandre testimony into consideration. He also heard the testimony of at least two other alleged victims.
Reports allege that the priest had been allowed to carry on working due to “ecclesiastical errors” and due to a succession of bishops putting off dealing with the issue.
However, conflicting local media reports claim he actually retired that year.