Joseph Sultana, an 84-year-old priest, has pleaded not guilty to raping an altar boy.
Sultana, a well-known figure in Xagħra and its parish, was arraigned in court this morning in Gozo.
He is one of two priests arrested yesterday evening after hours of interrogation. The other was Joseph Cini, a priest in his 70s and ex-parish priest of Għasri. He will be arraigned separately.
Joseph Cini was previously accused of child abuse in Australia but refused to return to the country to face the accuser, who was also a former altar boy.
The Gozo Curia said the allegations in Australia seem to be unfounded, but it had brought the case to light after submitting a report to its the Safeguarding Commission.
Following this morning’s arraignment, the Curia asked all victims of abuse to report to the police and the Safeguarding Commission if it involves the Church.
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