Donald Bellizzi, a former Burmarrad Franciscan priest, was sentenced to three years in prison after forcing a minor to masturbate him, iNews reported.
Bellizzi used to invite youths interested in becoming priests on retreats at the Franciscan convent in Burmarrad.
On one particular retreat, Bellizzi forced a young aspiring priest to masturbate him.
Investigations into this case were kicked off after the Curia received reports of the abuse.
Bellizzi was well-acquainted with the victim’s family and visited his house a number of times after the abuse took place.
The former priest was taken to court, where he was found guilty of participating in sexual acts with a minor. Bellizzi was sentenced to three years in prison.
Judge Consuelo Scerri Herrera remarked that Bellizzi was meant to be a “role model” to his victim and described the case as “deplorable and condemnable”.