VALLETTA, Malta – A Maltese priest has been handed a suspended three-month sentence after he was found guilty of violent indecent assault on a woman who was undergoing psychiatric care.
The woman testified that Charles Fenech, 57, a priest who was popular in the Mediterranean island nation in the 1990s for organizing activities to raise funds for disabled people, forced her to perform oral sex on him on several occasions in 2011.
The woman was under the care of a psychiatrist after trying to commit suicide while her marriage was breaking up.
The verdict Thursday was the first involving a Maltese priest accused of sexually abusing an adult. In 2011, two Maltese priests were sentenced to a total of 11 years in jail for sexually abusing minors.