Official: Abuse victims receive threats in Brazil

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — A Brazilian official said Friday that three former altar boys who accused a Roman Catholic priest of sexual abuse have received threats and are under police protection.

The three were threatened after they denounced Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa for allegedly molesting former altar boys in northeastern Alagoas state, according to an adviser to the Senate pedophilia commission.

Commission adviser Renato Paoliello said a different priest — also accused of having sexual relations with minors, but who is collaborating with investigators — also is under police protection after being threatened.

Paoliello did not describe the threats.

Police and the Senate commission are investigating the allegations against Barbosa, 83, who is under house arrest. Prosecutors will decide whether to file charges.

A video showing Barbosa having sex with one of the former alter boys was broadcast on television last month.

The alter boy is now a young man, and Barbosa testified to a Senate commission that he had sex with him only after he had reached adulthood. Barbosa has denied having sex with any underage alter boys.