The priest of the city of Minas Gustavo Melgar He was sentenced in first instance to eight years in prison on Tuesdayreported the Prosecutor’s Office. He was prosecuted for “Repeated crimes of violent indecent assault, repeated crimes of sexual abuse, and a crime of especially aggravated sexual abuse,” detailed from the agency.
The prosecutor of Lavalleja, Viviana Maqueira, requested this sentence in september 2021after it was verified that the priest, who became parish vicar of Lavalleja, abused two girls aged 9 and 13a case that was made public in 2019.
The priest was suspended by the Church in December 2020Y is serving house arrest as a precautionary measure from March 2021, after Judge Lucía Granucci reject the request for preventive detention of the prosecutor Tania Vidal, in the formalization hearing held on February 4 of that year. This measure was later upheld by the Court of Appeals.
Melgar will not enter prison at the moment because he has already notified that he will appeal the Justice’s decision.
Maqueira explained to The Observer that man was convicted in the cases of the two girlseven if the number of crimes committed was not specified, hence the “repeated”. He indicated that the judicial part will be made public, but in the Prosecutor’s Office they work to protect the identity of the victims and witnesses of the case within the text.
Being a conviction in the first instance, the ruling is not final because the defense of the priest, led by the criminal lawyer Pedro Montano, can appeal the decision of the first-time Lavalleja criminal judge, Natalia Alessandre.
“We express our pain and empathy for what the victims and their families experienced, at the same time, We assure you that we will continue to work rigorously in the prevention and detection of these crimesin all ecclesial spheres. We also reiterate our commitment to reparation for the victims and to continue collaborating with Justice,” says a statement from the Bishopric of Maldonado, Punta del Este, Minas and Rocha about what happened.