The Philippines – A senior Vatican priest has been caught by police attempting to rape a 13-year-old girl in his hotel room in the Philippines.
Monsignor Arnel Lagarejo was arrested Friday after the victim’s mother contacted authorities, who then found that the Catholic priest had paid her 16-year-old pimp to spend the night with her.
Rt.com reports: The priest, president of Cainta Catholic College and parish priest of St. John The Baptist, faces charges of violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Read: The Diocese of Antipolo's official statement on the incident involving Msgr. Arnel F. Lagarejos. pic.twitter.com/EA47Y9IYPv
— Diocese of Antipolo (@antipolodiocese) July 29, 2017
Eastern Police District Director Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula said Lagarejos found the 16-year-old pimp on social media, reports PhilStar.
The Diocese of Antipolo issued a statement noting the seriousness of the incident and expressing its willingness to cooperate with investigating authorities. It confirmed that Lagarejos has been relieved of all of his duties in the diocese.
Lagarejos is also “forbidden from having contact with all but his lawyer, his brother-priests, and church authorities. He is particularly forbidden from any communication with minors and from maintaining company with them in any way whatsoever.”
The diocese said it does “not in any way condone or abet the trafficking in persons, particularly of minors, nor protect the offenders from prosecution, and subsequent trial and punishment when evidence so warrants.”