German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse

German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse

A German Catholic priest has admitted 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys in the past decade, saying he did not think he was doing harm.

Named only as Andreas L, the priest told a court in Braunschweig that he had first abused the nine-year-old son of a widowed woman parishioner.

After being banned by his diocese from making further contact with the boy, he abused two brothers, aged nine and 13.

Thousands of Germans have left the Church over revelations of abuse.

About 180,000 renounced their Catholicism in 2010, up 40% from the previous year, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports.

Pope Benedict XVI, a German by birth, briefly met victims of sexual abuse by priests when he visited his native land in September, expressing "deep compassion and regret" at their suffering.

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The priest on trial in Braunschweig faces a minimum prison sentence of between six and six and a half years.

He was arrested during the summer, after the mother of his earlier victim reported him to...

Read the story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16543091