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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A Roman Catholic nun from Japan has been arrested and charged on suspicion of helping priests sexually abuse children at a school for youths with hearing disabilities in Argentina, authorities said.
Kosaka Kumiko was also charged with physically abusing the students at the Antonio Provolo Institute for children with hearing impairment in northwestern Mendoza province.
Kumiko, who was born in Japan but has Argentine citizenship, denied any wrongdoing during an eight-hour court hearing late Thursday. She was shown being led by police in handcuffs, and wearing her habit and a bullet-proof vest.
The case against Kumiko began after a former student accused her of making her wear a diaper to cover up a hemorrhage after she was allegedly raped by priest Horacio Corbacho.
Corbacho and fellow priest Nicola Corradi were arrested last year after they were charged with sexually abusing at least two dozen students at the Provolo Institute. They are being held at a jail in Mendoza and have not spoken publicly since their arrest. If found guilty, the accused face up to 50 years in prison.
Corradi had earlier been accused in Italy of abusing students at the Provolo Institute in Verona, a notorious school for the deaf where hundreds of children are believed to have been sexually assaulted over the years by two dozen priests and religious brothers.
Advocates for clerical sex abuse have expressed anger that Corradi wasn't sanctioned by the Vatican and allegedly went on to abuse children in Pope Francis' native Argentina.