Monday 25 September 2023

Catholic Church is sentenced to pay ¢65 million for moral damages

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QCOSTARICA – The Civil Court of the First Judicial Circuit of San José sentenced the Episcopal Conference and Archbishop José Rafael Quirós to pay ¢65 million colones for moral damages to the victim of sexual abuse by the former priest Mauricio Víquez Lizano.

Catholic Church priest Mauricio Víquez, accused of sexual crimes, directed the parish of Patarrá de Desamparados between 1996 and 2003. Photo: Semanario Universidad

The victim’s lawyer, Rodolfo Alvarado, confirmed the information, saying there are still two more lawsuits against the Catholic Church for acts attributed to the former priest.

Alvarado pointed out that the Catholic Church was involved in a cover-up by not taking action when the complaints were made against the former priest. The complainants assure that Quirós was aware of Víquez’s actions, but he delayed the internal complaints.

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The Episcopal Conference announced that they will present an appeal before the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice.

In March, Víquez Lizano was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping and sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 2003, the only one of the four accusations that was not considered prescribed by the Criminal Court of Desamparados.

Two and a half years after being captured in Mexico, where he had fled when the allegations of sexual abuse became known in Costa Rica, the former Catholic Church priest received the sentence for rape and sexual abuse based on evidence that the judges considered sufficient.



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