Man charged for toppling statue of Polish priest over abuse

Polish prosecutors say they have charged the first of three men who pulled down the statue of a prominent Solidarity-era priest this week amid allegations the priest sexually abused minors.

Gdansk region prosecutors' spokeswoman Grazyna Wawryniuk said Friday the man was charged with disrespectful treatment of a monument and with damaging it.

If convicted, he could receive up to five years in prison. Two other men are expected to hear the same charges later Friday.

They pulled down the statue of the late Mgr. Henryk Jankowski on Thursday in Gdansk to protest what they called the Catholic Church and society's failure to resolve the problem of clergy sex abuse.

The action came as Pope Francis convened world Catholic leaders to find ways of solving the church's sex abuse crisis.