Argentine priest finally imprisoned for sex abuse

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest who was convicted in Argentina of sexually abusing a boy has finally begun serving a 15-year sentence in prison.

Father Julio Cesar Grassi was something of a star in the Buenos Aires diocese, well-known for persuading Argentine celebrities to donate to the Happy Children Foundation.

His fortunes changed after some of the orphans he cared for accused him of abusing them in 1996.

Grassi was convicted in 2009, but was able to keep living across the street from the orphanage while he appealed. After the top provincial court upheld his sentence last week, Grassi was taken into custody Monday.

The 57-year-old priest still maintains he is innocent. His final appeal to Argentina’s Supreme Court will be made from behind bars.

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