BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Two Argentine judges who have come under fire for sharply reducing the sentence of a child abuser were already under scruntiny for easing the sentence of a pastor convicted of abusing two teenage girls, arguing their poverty made them susceptible to sex at an early age.
In the 2011 decision reviewed by The Associated Press on Wednesday, judges Benjamin Sal Llargues and Horacio Piombo reduced the pastor's sentence from 18 years to 9 1/2 years. Francisco Avalos was convicted in 2004 of sex with two underage girls who attended his church. The judges justified their decision by writing that in lower social classes, "sexual relations are accepted at early ages."
They are under fire for revelations they cut another sentence due to alleged conduct of a 6-year-old victim.